Philippines says militants control 20 percent of besieged city

An abandoned hospital window is seen full of bullet holes, as government soldiers continue their assault against the Maute group in Marawi City, Philippines June 12, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines military said on Tuesday that Islamist militants hold 20 percent of the Marawi City, disputing an earlier claim by Islamic State’s news agency Amaq that its “fighters are spread in more than two-thirds” of the southern town.

“On the contrary, out of 96 barangays (neighborhoods), they are holding portions in Marinaut, Lulut, Mapandi and Bongolo Commercial District, which only comprise 20 percent of the whole Marawi City ... and its getting smaller everyday,” Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, head of military command in the region, told Reuters.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said on June 5 that the militants occupied less than 10 percent of the city, which they had tried to overrun in an attack on May 23.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by John Chalmers