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ROSARY AND AID. Wounded soldier Lt. Sandy Benis receives a rosary, goods and financial aid from Armed Forces chief of staff Eduardo Año’s wife Jean Joselyn here on Wednesday. Ms. Año is the chairperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Officers’ Ladies Club that is behind the aid distribution. (PHOTO BY NITZ ARANCON)

Marawi crisis over soon, assures Año

By FROILAN GALLARDO
Special Correspondent

THE fightings in Marawi would be “soon be over” with government troops dislodging the final pockets of resistance of the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group, Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año said here on Wednesday.

Año announced this assessment after he and other military officers went to the main battle areas in barangays Padian and Raya Mandaya in strife-torn Marawi City Wednesday morning.

“ The fighting is reduced to house-to-house, building-to-building; floor-to-floor, and chamber-to-chamber,” Año said.

He said troops in the frontlines told him there was a noticeable decrease of resistance from the Maute Group gunmen compared to weeks ago.

“We will finish Marawi very soon,” Ano said.

Año said they have a general idea of the location of the hostages, including Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganub.

He said Maute gunmen are still holding most of the 300 hostages in two buildings while the rest were scattered in other parts of the city.

“We still have so many names unaccounted for and we believe the gunmen are holding them as hostages,” Año said.

Año was at the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital to pin the “Wounded Personnel” medals to 53 soldiers.

He also gave P1-million checks to the families of 1Lt. John Carl Morales of Kabacan, North Cotabato; Cpl. Philip Apao of Don Carlos, Bukidnon; and Pfc. Kevin Sisban of Linamon, Lanao del Norte, who were all killed in action in Marawi City.

The money came from the anonymous donor who pledged to give P1 million to each soldier killed in action in Marawi.

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