78 ‘hostages’ rescued in Marawi hospital – military

Carmela Fonbuena
78 ‘hostages’ rescued in Marawi hospital – military
The military declares facilities previously occupied by local terror groups – including the Amai Pakpak Medical Center – 'cleared of Maute presence'

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Up to 78 civilians were held captive by the Maute Group inside the Amai Pakpak Medical Center on Tuesday, May 23, when the local terrorist group occupied the public hospital.

All were rescued, according to the military with the hospital declared “cleared of Maute presence” on Wednesday, May 24.

“At 3:00 pm today, the Amai Pakpak Hospital where Maute members accordingly occupied and held captive some 78 civilians was already declared cleared of Maute presence,” said Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command. 

More civilians were rescued in other facilities attacked by the Maute Group on Tuesday, estimated to be a total of 120 civilians.

Others were not as lucky. At least 4 residents, including a priest, were reportedly taken by the terrorist group. (READ: Marawi bishop: Priest, 4 others held hostage by Maute)

The Maute Group killed a cop and a security guard, and then took hostages – 8 patients, 49 construction workers, and 21 hospital staff –  on Tuesday when they forced hospital staff to treat two of their wounded colleagues.

Rappler sources said they left the hospital late evening on Tuesday as clashes with the military raged.

In Dansalan College, one of the buildings where fire broke out, they rescued up to 42 teachers who were trapped. It was also declared “clear of Maute presence” Wednesday afternoon. 

Five soldiers and 13 members of the terror groups were killed in the clashes, based on military reports. Up to 31 soldiers were wounded.

Clashes erupted on Tuesday as the military moved to hunt down Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was spotted in Marawi City. 

Hapilon, who reportedly has direct links to international terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS), joined the Maute Group in Lanao Del Sur supposedly to establish an Islamic caliphate in Central Mindanao. – Rappler.com  

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