Several wounded soldiers are taken to a hospital in Iligan City after a fierce firefight with local terrorists in Marawi City ensued Friday, June 9. 13 members of the Philippine Marines were killed in action. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

MARAWI CITY, Philippines— Government troops suffered 13 casualties on Friday, Day 18 of the fight against the local terrorist groups here.

Lt. Col. Joar Herrera said they are still validating the number of the wounded troopers but confirmed 13 members of the Philippine Marines were killed in one day including Antipolo-City native 1Lt Frederick Savellano, the company commander who conducted clearing operations which found P52.2 million cash and P27 million-worth of checks in a house in Marawi City. Investigation is still ongoing as to who are the owners of the cash and checks which are now in government safekeeping.

Herrera added that skirmishes transpired in the areas of different sectors, including Scout Rangers and Marines put up by the military. He said some 30 to 40 enemies were occupying high rise buildings in the area.

“We believe that the enemy has strong defensive positions,” he said. “We had an intense firefight and we suffered casualties,” Herrera said.

He admitted that the fight in Marawi City is a huge challenge to the military.

He described the battle as a “different terrain from the mountains providing a huge challenge to the military.”

As of 9am on Friday, June 9, the government has already listed 45 police and Army killed in action, bringing the total number of those killed to 58.

Meanwhile, Herrera confirmed the participation of US military special forces in the government’s fight against the Maute.

But Herrera denied that the US troops are not joining Filipino soldiers in the fighting on the ground.

The presence of the US, he said, provides only intelligence exchanges, training and technical support. (

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