Two Maute hostages rescued in Marawi

Maute uses hostages as fighters—AFP

Maute uses hostages as fighters—AFP

But Colonel Edgard Arevalo, the military's public affairs chief, said: "We are still validating that information".

Presidential adviser Jesus Dureza and two senior security officials said without elaborating that troops retrieved the two late Saturday after a battle to recapture a key mosque and another Islamic building used as a command centre by the gunmen in Marawi.

"They are retreating while we are assaulting but in the process of doing so, we are encountering many improvised explosive devices so we can not just advance".

Father Soganub is expected to be taken to meet president Rodrigo Duterte after receiving medical treatment.

On May 30 he appeared in a propaganda video pleading for his life and asking the military to cease aerial bombardments. Photos showing him, a young man and a woman slumped against a wall had also circulated on the Internet.

Hundreds of armed extremists flying the black flag of the Islamic State movement in the Middle East occupied Marawi, the Islamic capital of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23.

In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) chief Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo, said they can not still provide any details in order not to jeopardize the lives of the soldiers and other hostages there.

"As follow up and clearing operations continue, we expect the enemy to yield more previously occupied positions", he added.

The police said Maute terrorists raped numerous women they held inside the mosques as shields to prevent military forces from closing in.

Dureza said this is the second grand mosque in Marawi that has been taken by government troops.

General Carlito Galvez said in a statement issued Sunday that troops finally regained the Bato Mosque and the Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation as well as the Jamaitul Philippine Al-Islamiyah buildings at past 5 p.m. on Saturday.

"They now force the hostages, especially the male hostages to fight with them, " Brawner said on GMA 7 news program 24 Oras. "We are ready for that".

More than 800 militants, government troops, and civilians have since been killed in ongoing airstrikes and streets battles, which have destroyed large parts of the once-bustling city and forced thousands of local residents to flee their homes.