The Philippines has declared an end to five months of fighting in southern Marawi City between the armed forces and ISIS militants, the country’s defence minister says. The declaration of victory was announced by General Danilo Pamonag, during a military ceremony in Marawi, where he said the operation began with clearing some 3,000 structures or buildings and “now, we have reached our objective.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared Marawi City liberated from pro-Islamic State militants who have held the heart of the city for 148 days, media and a government minister said. Duterte was visiting Marawi, a day after two leaders of the rebel alliance were killed.
#Manila: Two top Philippine commanders of an armed alliance that have declared loyalty to the ISIS have been killed, according to authorities, in a major blow to an ongoing armed rebellion in the country’s south.
Isnilon Hapilon, the top commander of the Abu Sayyaf Group and Omarkhayam Maute of the Maute Group, as well as seven of their fighters, were killed on Monday, after military forces launched a major operation in the besieged city of Marawi, General Eduardo Ano, the top military commander, said in a press conference.
Ano said information provided by a female hostage, who escaped recently, led the government troops to the location of the armed fighters.
The siege of Marawi started when military and police tried to serve an arrest warrant against Hapilon in May. Instead of giving up their arms, Hapilon formed an alliance with the Maute Group and launched a bloody rampage across the university town by the picturesque Lake Lanao. That prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.
Philippines: Isnilon Hapilon, an FBI most-wanted terror suspect, and Omarkhayam Maute were reportedly killed in a gunbattle in the southern city of Marawi. The two surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines city of Marawi have been killed in an offensive launched by thousands of troops to retake areas held by pro-Islamic State militants, state security officials have said.
Philippine lawmakers have voted to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao until the end of the year, giving President Rodrigo Duterte extra time to quell a rebellion by militants allied with the ISIS group.
Manila: President Rodrigo Duterte offered self-rule to the Philippines’ Muslim minority on Monday in an attempt to defeat IS militants who seized a southern city in the gravest challenge to his year-old rule.
Duterte hopes the promise of autonomy will persuade Filipino Muslims to reject the ISIS group, whose followers still control parts of Marawi after nearly two months of fighting that had left more than 500 people dead.
Manila: The Republic of India is sending $500,000 (P25 million) to the Philippines for the rehabilitation and relief efforts in war-torn Marawi City.
The Indian Embassy in Manila said the donation has been coordinated by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to Foreign Affairs Chief Alan Peter Cayetano last July 6.