Marawi residents return home

  • Page Views 705
  • MARAWI CITY — Residents of this Lanao del Sur provincial capital, where Islamic State (IS) supporters waged a brutal five-month battle, began returning home on Tuesday, but gunfire greeted them as soldiers scoured devastated neighborhoods for remaining militants.

    The military announced on Monday that the fighting, which claimed more than 1,100 lives and left the eastern half of Marawi in ruins, had ended following a final clash in a two-story commercial building in which dozens of gunmen were killed.

    The militants had occupied Marawi on May 23 in what President Duterte and security analysts said was a bid to establish a Southeast Asian base for IS.

    Washington’s top diplomat in the Philippines said the United States provided surveillance aircraft and other equipment to help monitor and assess the militants’ positions during the campaign.

    The assistance was critical to the successful outcome of the fighting, Ambassador Sung Y. Kim told a small group of American reporters on the sidelines of an annual meeting of Southeast Asian defense chiefs with their Asian and Western counterparts at Clark Freeport in Pampanga province.

    The campaign to oust the militants turned into the Philippines’ longest urban war, forcing about 400,000 people to flee their homes as the pro-IS fighters defied almost daily bombing raids by hiding in basements, tunnels and mosques.

    Lomontong said her house had survived, although it had been looted.

    “Anything easy to take away was gone—television sets, laptops,” she said.

    Only a few dozen civilians could be seen on Tuesday morning on the outskirts of the mostly destroyed eastern half of Marawi, where regular bursts of gunfire and occasional explosions could still be heard.

    However, the sounds of war did not mean there was renewed fighting, according to Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., deputy commander of the military’s Joint Task Group Ranao.

    He told they were due to soldiers going through buildings looking for militants who may still be hiding, while troops were also detonating bombs that the gunmen had planted.

    “It’s possible that there were some [militants] left behind. In every war, that is the SOP (standard operating procedure),” Brawner said.

    “So the firing is part of the mopping operations, because if there are holes, tunnels (in buildings), then the troops fire first into the hole before they check with their flashlights,” he said.

    In the western half of the city, which largely escaped the fighting, hundreds of residents had begun returning.

    “I feel a mixture of joy and sadness,” businessman Gonaranko Mapandi Jr, 46, said as he stood close to a military checkpoint. “I’m happy because we are able to return. But I’m very sad at what happened to my city.” (Inquirer/ With reports from AFP and AP)

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 15 August 2018
      5 hours ago No comment

      Kris Aquino in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Hollywood premiere

      Kris Aquino was in character as Princess Intan as she attended the Hollywood red carpet premiere of her international flick “Crazy Rich Asians.” Alongside her red-carpet photos for the movie’s Hollywood premiere, the actress and multimedia personality divulged that she is playing Princess Intan, a snobbish Malay royalty “who ...

    • 15 August 2018
      9 hours ago No comment

      The Equalizer 2 (PG)

      Divine Hands! Hands on fun will be had by one and all during The Equalizer 2. For the first time ever consummate acting ace Denzel Washington returns to what may become his most iconic and perhaps enduring role. Accompanied by Training Day helmsman Antoine Fuqua the pair succeed in ...

    • 15 August 2018
      11 hours ago No comment

      Piolo Pascual hints at reunion movie with Judy Ann Santos

      Kapamilya actor Piolo Pascual is looking forward to have a new movie with her former love team partner Judy Ann Santos. In an interview with the media during the thanksgiving of his teleserye “Since I Found You,” Piolo said director Antoinette Jadaone is now writing the reuinon movie’s script. ...

    • 14 August 2018
      23 hours ago No comment

      Jollibee Seeks to Achieve Mainstream Status in Canada

      “Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) continues its aggressive expansion into Canada as it opened the doors of Jollibee Mississauga on July 20, 2018, the fast food company’s second outpost in Toronto”, reported DTI’s Senior Trade Commissioner in Canada, Maria Roseni “Nini” Alvero.  Jollibee Mississauga is housed inside Seafood City, a ...

    • 14 August 2018
      1 day ago No comment

      Team Canada wins big at WCOPA

      Singers, musicians, dancers, variety artists, actors and models competed before judges from the entertainment industry at the 22nd Annual World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), from July 6 – 15, 2018 in Long Beach, California. This one-and-only, Olympic-style international meet for aspiring performers and entertainers is held annually in ...

    %d bloggers like this: