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AFP verifying rescue of Father Suganob

AFP verifying rescue of Father Suganob

Col. Edgard Arevalo, military public affairs chief, said in a separate statement that the Bato Mosque, considered the second grand one, was retaken at 5 p.m. on Saturday, after five hours of fighting between state forces and terrorists.

Rear-Admiral Rene Medina, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, told The Philippine Daily Inquirer Father Soganub escaped with another hostage, Mr Lordvin Ocopio, a teacher at Dansalan College, during the assault.

"We are still validating that information".

"Kaya hindi po kami pwedeng magbigay ng detalye [The reason why we can't give out details], because it might compromise it might jeopardize our rescue operations".

The military chief of the city of Marawi, which Daesh terrorists took over in May, said on Sunday that forces had captured the militants' command center after a fierce battle and were now engaged in a mopping-up operation.

Catholic priest Teresito "Chito" Suganob escaped Saturday night from his Maute captors after soldiers reclaimed the mosque where they held him captive since May 23.

The priest had appeared in a video released by the militants pleading for his life and asking the military to cease their aerial bombardments.

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East attacked Marawi on May 23.

"They now force the hostages, especially the male hostages to fight with them, " Brawner said on GMA 7 news program 24 Oras.

In addition to increasing their numbers with civilians, the Maute group also has been reported to be augmenting their production of improvised explosive devices by using dud bombs dropped by government forces.

He also said Suganob, a vicar general of the prelature of Marawi was taken hostage in an undisclosed location.

"We have an ongoing rescue operation at the main battle area". "We are ready for that".

President Rodrigo Duterte has deployed thousands of troops and imposed martial law across the southern third of the country to deal with the crisis, while the military has launched a US-backed air campaign against the militants.


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