DAVAO CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed on Friday that there are foreign fighters involved in the Marawi siege.
AFP Spokesperson General Resty Padilla said in a press conference on May 26 that as of 12 midnight report, among the 31 terrorists killed were six identified foreign fighters.The foreigners were said to be Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporeans.
“I would like to emphasize that the group is feverishly wanting to be part and is wanting to be part (of ISIS) that is why the president made mention that there are footprints so this is not yet complete. They are trying to complete it and working feverishly to gain that close requirements and we are committed not to allow them or to thwart their attempts to deny them that ability to accomplish it,” Padilla pointed out.
Padilla also said they have yet to verify if the foreigners are directly connected to the terrorist group ISIS. “Any of them have been products of the previous terrorist organizations and their connections have been primarily with JI and the like,” he said.
“There are certain foreign elements here who have been in the country for a long time, aiding these terrorists in skills-related to terrorism primarily bombmaking,” he said.
According to Padila, clearing operations are being conducted as exchange of firefights between military forces and the Maute group are still happening in certain parts of Marawi city.
“The objective of our armed forces is to clear the city at the soonest time as possible,” Padilla said.
Padilla assured those who are in Marawi that they are not bombing the city and just “merely performing surgical airstrikes to neutralize the threats that have been impeding the entry and movement of their troops.” (davaotoday.com)