40 bodies buried in Marawi, mostly of ISIS-Maute fighters

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 5 Oct) – Authorities buried 40 bodies of mostly ISIS-Maute fighters who were killed in four months of fighting here.

Bureau of Fire Protection officers carry a cadaver bag for burial in Marawi city on Thursday (5 October 2017). The military said 25 of the 40 bodies buried today were ISIS-Maute fighters. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Force Ranao, said 25 of the remains were believed to be ISIS-Maute fighters killed in the operations to retake Marawi.

He said 15 of the bodies were recovered around Dansalan College and the Bato Ali mosque where government troops encountered the fiercest resistance from the fighters.

“Many of them were found wearing black shirts and had ammo bandoliers indicating most likely they were ISIS-Maute fighters,” Brawner said.

Amer Rashid Mindalano, head of the Marawi City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the Malaysian Embassy sent them a copy of a picture of Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, a known militant.

“It was an unofficial request to identify if the Malaysian militant was among those killed,” he said.

Mindalano said they failed to identify Ahmad because the bodies were beyond physical recognition.

Forensic experts from the PNP Crime Laboratory have conducted DNA tests on the bodies in the past two days.

“The tests found most of the bodies have battle wounds,” Mindalano said

The bodies were buried at Magbarah Muslim public cemetery in Barangay Papandan, Marawi City where 54 other persons also killed in the fighting were buried. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)