Marawi bishop 'happy' over rescue of abducted priest

Marawi bishop 'happy' over rescue of abducted priest

However, in a text message sent to the media around 10 am, Col. Edgar Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office Chief, said: "We are still validating that information". As of now, we can not still give details.

A Catholic priest held captive by rebels in Marawi since May 23 has been rescued, authorities said. "And in the course of fleeing, they were identified by the military and they were brought to a safer place" Medina said in the Inquirer report. Photos showing him, a young man and a woman slumped against a wall had also circulated on the Internet.

Dureza said the Catholic priest and one other person were rescued 11 p.m. Saturday, near Bato Mosque, one of the main strongholds of the Maute terrorists.

Security forces have engaged in ferocious street-to-street combat and launched airstrikes in their efforts to expel the fighters from Marawi, in a conflict that has raised fears that ISIS is looking to establish a South-east Asian base in the Philippines.

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In a Facebook post around 7:42 am Sunday, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said: "Got this just now from Franklin Franklin M. Quijano:
For info sir father Chito Suganob together with one other was rescued by troops near Bato mosque".

"It was a fiercely fought five hours before government security forces subdued the terrorists who were strategically located in the buildings", he said.

In the 5-minute clip, the priest appealed to the President to immediately withdraw thousands of soldiers from the war-torn Marawi City.

The military is expecting more firefights in Marawi as troops continue to push towards enemy defensive positions in the city besieged by terrorists since May.

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