Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Heavily armed terrorists are now using two mosques in Marawi City to prevent attack helicopters to launch airstrikes on them. Lanao del Sur crisis management committee spokesman, Zia Alonto Adiong, told journalists that the retreating terrorists are now using the Bato Islamic Mosque and the Lanao Mindanao Al-Islamic Center to provoke military aircrafts to bomb the mosque and inturn get sympathy from Islamic communities.

Adiong also raised the question, how can the Maute group call themselves Muslim if they are destroying religious sites as, he asserted that, Islam advocates the preservation of things of good educational value.

Meanwhile, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Governor Mujiv Hataman, said that the Maute terrorist group vandalised the property of St. Mary's Church at the heart of Marawi to promote hatred between Muslims and Christians. However, he is thankful that Christians in Mindanao remain sober and did not respond violently.

"The terrorist group want to impress to the Islamic community that there is Muslim persecution in the Southern Philippines but actually there is none," Hataman was quoted by the Philippine Star.

The Philippines military has reiterated that they will not bomb mosques as it is a place of worship and they have other ways how to finish off the terrorists.

Military intelligence reported that tunnels made of steels are hidden and they are adjacent to the mosques where terrorists continue to use human shield to prevent soldiers from firing them. The AFP said that this makes the job of the foot soldiers difficult.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines also said that the reason for them to not being able to meet the deadline to finish the battle on 12 June is the Maute's mastery of the terrain and the deployment of their snipers in mosques

The Marawi conflict has been going on for four weeks now that killed 202 gunmen, 58 security forces and 26 civilians. Government also revealed that there are also at least 100 dead bodies that need to be recovered from the battle zone.