Over 500 dead in Marawi siege

The AFP and Malacañang report that the death toll for the Marawi Siege that first erupted on May 23 has breached the 500-person mark.

Both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Malacañang report that the number of confirmed fatalities in Marawi—which first erupted with the ISIS-sympathizing Maute Group’s siege of the city last 23 May—has passed the 500-person mark.

Thirty-nine civilians have been killed by the terrorists. One of the main concerns and obstacles of offensive AFP operations remains to be the Maute Group’s flagrant use of human shields and public areas like mosques as staging areas for assaults.

The number of slain terrorists has risen to 353, and 451 high-powered firearms have been retrieved. Government troops have lost a total of 89 personnel.

This brings the total to 507 confirmed deaths, as of July 9.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Asst. Sec. Marie Banaag said that 1,723 civilians have been rescued by government troops, local government units, and civil service organizations.

The previous death toll, announced right before the Marawi siege hit the one-month mark, was recorded at 360 individuals: 268 members of the Maute Group were terminated (and 271 firearms retrieved), 66 of the government’s security forces were killed in action, and 26 civilians were killed by the terrorists.