Security forces in the Philippines have killed 89 militants since ISIS targeted the country more than a week ago, the military said.
The gunmen, however, are still holding hostages and are actively fighting the government.
Wednesday morning, attack helicopters fired rockets into the pockets of Marawi city where the terrorists were hiding among civilians, an AFP reporter said.
The clashes erupted when gunmen with ISIS flags attacked the Muslim majority city on Tuesday last week, in response to the government’s effort to arrest a militant leader.
The senior militant, Isnilon Hapilon, managed to escape but he is still believed to be in Marawi, military spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla said Wednesday.
Padilla said the military was advancing towards ending the crisis, which has also claimed the lives of 21 security forces and 19 civilians.
He added that there are still civilians who are trapped in the 10 percent of the city controlled by the militants.
“That 10 percent is most likely the area that is heavily guarded and defended by any armed men if they are protecting any individual of high value,” the military spokesman said.
The militants have also taken a priest and up to 14 other people hostage since the beginning of the conflict.