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.
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 #Kuwait’s embassy in the #Philippines on Monday called on Kuwaiti nationals or potential travelers to be vigilant due to violence southern the country. The embassy said that ongoing violence in the South might spread to other areas nearby. It also called on nationals to contact the hotline 639998877897 and the embassy’s phone on 6325563868 in case of emergency.
#Manila: Terrified Christians are escaping ISIS militants in the Filipino town of Marawi by wearing hijabs borrowed from Muslims. There are around 1,500 people trapped in the besieged Filipino city, which is about 60 miles south of Cagayan de Oro, Almost 100 people have escaped on foot, while others have swum across the river. Medics tending those who have made their way out alive recounted the resourcefulness of those who fled.