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Military remains 'careful' as Maute ‘remnants’ continue to recruit members

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — The number of Maute group “remnants” has decreased, but the military remains "careful" as they are still a threat to national security, Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner, Jr. said Tuesday.

Brawner was the deputy commander of Task Force Ranao, which was tasked to facilitate the rehabilitation of the war-torn Marawi City, before he was appointed to the PMA on September 26.

“We only have a small group of remnant of Maute-ISIS, In fact a week before I was told to report to PMA... we were able to capture three young recruits ages 20 and 22,” Brawner told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

The group, he said, has 25 members and 20 supporters.

“We’re dealing with that kind of problem still. They’re trying to recruit more people, especially young people,” Brawner said.

Despite the now lower number of Maute group members, he said the military still have to be careful in dealing with the group as it remains a threat in the security in the region.

“We have to be careful now they’re trying to recruit more members and they could still do some damage, they could still attack,“ he said.

More than 1,100 people died in battles that raged for nearly five months after the May 2017 Marawi siege staged by pro-Islamic State group fighters. The dead include 900 extremists, 47 civilians and 165 military men. Some 300,000 residents were displaced, while houses and buildings were reduced to rubble.

The country will commemorate on Thursday the declaration of the city’s liberation from terrorist forces.



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