Maute militants still control four villages in Marawi City

The IS-linked Maute terror group still control 4 of the 12 villages ravaged by fighting in Marawi City which has continued for more than three weeks now.

The Manila Times Online report on Wednesday quoted Lt-Gen Carlito Galvez, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command, as saying that about 200 militants are still in the four villages together with about 1,000 civilians held captive as orderlies and cooks.

He, however, noted that the four villages have been in the hands of the militants since the Maute family first established their presence there.

The militants are now holding less than 10 percent of Marawi City, a Muslim majority city of 200,000 people that serves as the capital of Lanao del Sur province.

The Maute group is killing civilians who try to escape while using them as orderlies and cooks.

The death toll from the 3-week fierce fighting is nearing 300, with at least 26 civilians, 58 police and soldiers and 202 militants killed.

Five civilians were killed on Monday as they tried to escape, but as they ran toward a river, the militants gave chase and opened fire at them, killing five and capturing the rest.

IS on Monday released a video via its Amaq propaganda news agency, showing jihadists shooting six Christians in Marawi.