MANILA -- Some eight foreigners are among the estimated 40 Maute Group terrorists remaining in Marawi City, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said late Sunday.

These foreign terrorists are acting as leaders of the remaining lawless elements, he added.

The AFP chief said the report is based on the information provided by local residents.

He added that these men are suicidal, prompting the military to exert extra care in the ongoing operations to avoid a backlash on the estimated 40 hostages.

Fighting in the city started May 23 after government forces attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts.

As of October 6, the number of slain Maute terrorists was placed at 753 along with 155 government forces killed in action.

Recovered enemy weapons included 805 firearms and 14 improvised explosive devices. At least 47 civilians have been killed in the conflict while those rescued stood at 1,750. (PNA)