The Philippine military said it killed 10 armed men who tried to enter the battle zone in Marawi City in the early hours of this morning (Monday, August 28).
A three-hour battle erupted at Lake Lanao after troops intercepted two motor boats attempting to sneak in to the besieged city.
Army spokeswoman Captain Jo-ann Petinglay said: “Soldiers of the Task Group Musang were able to intercept 10 members of the Daesh(IS)-inspired Maute terror group on board two motorised pump boats who attempted to sneak into the main battle area at 2:30 dawn today.”
The military recovered the bodies of five of the militants, one of the boats and an M16 rifle. The other boat is believed to have sunk. A search is continuing for the other five bodies.
Would be jihadists have been prevented from entering the embattled city on several occasions in recent weeks, as a dwindling band of Islamic-State inspired fighters continue to hold out in the city centre.
Clashes were also reported last week in the neighbouring town of Marantao. Military sources say there are diversionary tactics.
The military said it has made significant advances against the terrorists. However, it remains unclear when displaced residents can expect to return to their homes.
Troops reported retaking key enemy strongholds such as the city’s main mosque, where Christian hostages were previously kept. They have also cleared the Saint Mary’s Parish, where a Catholic Priest was taken hostage when fighting broke out on May 23.
President Duterte made his third visit to Marawi City last week to mark the retaking of the Grand Mosque. During this visit he was pictured firing an automatic weapon towards the battle-zone.