Marawi priest, Father Teresito 'Chito' Soganub, rescued after fierce battle

Fr Chito Suganob in video

Screen capture of captive priest Fr. Chito Suganob in a May 2017 video apparently taken by the Maute Group in Marawi City

Military forces in the Philippines have captured the command center of the Takfiri Daesh militants in a southern city that the terrorists have occupied for almost four months.

Suganob said militants seized him, along with other church workers, including children and adults, mostly Christians, when militants occupied Marawi on May 23.

General Carlito Galvez said in a statement issued Sunday that troops finally regained the Bato Mosque and the Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation as well as the Jamaitul Philippine Al-Islamiyah buildings at past 5 p.m. on Saturday.

A Maute gunman was also killed in the offensive a day earlier, September 16.

As of this report, the military continues to press forward in the battle area to penetrate what it believes to be the final defensive stand of the militants.

WestMinCom spokesperson Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay said the death toll among government forces has reached 149. "The Maute terrorists now force their hostages, especially the male hostages to fight with the troops".

The Maute group has found itself in a major battle with government troops after the terror group attacked Marawi last May.

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In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) chief Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo, said they can not still provide any details in order not to jeopardize the lives of the soldiers and other hostages there.

Philippine troops have rescued a Roman Catholic priest and another civilian who were among dozens of people abducted in May when hundreds of militants aligned with the Islamic State group laid siege on southern Marawi city, officials said Sunday.

Fr. Chito Suganob was reportedly among the rescued captives, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said in a Facebook post, citing his staff based in Iligan City.

Some hostages who escaped or were rescued said the militants forced them to convert to Islam, cook food and carry wounded fighters.

Speaking outside the ruins of buildings destroyed in fierce clashes, Suganob made an emotional appeal to Duterte to save all of them, saying, the militants are ready to die for their religion.

The Bato Mosque had served as a stronghold of the terrorists, who took advantage of the fact that government forces hesitate to attack religious institutions.

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