MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Philippine troops have retrieved 17 bodies believed to be of villagers killed by Muslim militants aligned with the Islamic State group who seized parts of southern Marawi city last month.
Government spokesman Zia Alonto Adiong tells The Associated Press by telephone that troops and rescuers found the bodies Wednesday huddled in a grassy lot in the Marawi village of Gadungan, which troops have cleared of militants.
Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Padilla says authorities will try to identify the bodies before they're added to the civilian death toll, currently at 27.
At least 299 militants and 71 soldiers and police have also died in the fighting that began when militant laid siege to Marawi on May 23.