Philippines prepares to defeat Islamic State in final battle for Marawi

01 September, 2017, 23:48 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Philippines prepares to defeat Islamic State in final battle for Marawi

Military troops are now thick in battle against Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City.

On the 100th day of the battle on Wednesday, Mr Duterte told reporters he has given the go-ahead for troops to escalate bombing of the militants, prompting even greater fears for several dozen hostages, including a Catholic priest, who have been used as human shields.

Philippine forces have been besieging militants in the southern city of Marawi for nearly 100 days.

Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, the spokesperson of the Joint Task Force Marawi, said troops from the 10th Infantry Battalion approached and took over the church on Friday afternoon.

Part of his promise is to reconstruct houses and schools laid to waste since the fighting erupted on May 23.

"The option is already yours, because we can not have stalemate for over one year", he told a gathering on Wednesday, 30 August. He refused because "it will just create more animosity and outright hostility towards the government".

Poster of wanted terrorists in the Marawi area.

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The remaining members of the Maute Group in Marawi City are low on food and ammunition, the military said on Wednesday. "First of all, the stronghold areas by these Maute terrorist group members are getting smaller", Brawner said in a television interview.

Armed forces chief Eduardo Ano said strategic gains had been made against the Islamist militants in the past week, including retaking the police headquarters and the city's central mosque.

Duterte assured them that he would give priority to building schools and homes of Marawi residents.

Fighting in Marawi broke out in late May after the army tried to arrest the leader of notorious terror group Abu Sayyaf, Isnilon.

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the military respects the prosecutors' decision but that security officials still believe the men could "perhaps be eventually deployed to Marawi".

All routes in and out of Marawi had been sealed off, he said on Tuesday, and the hard core of about 50 rebels were preparing for their "last stand" and would have to decide whether to surrender, or be martyred.

"We owe it to each and every peace loving Filipino to liberate Marawi at the soonest possible time from the clutches of the remaining terrorists who continue to defy our laws", he added.

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