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Philippine military says it regained most of Marawi from militants


English News
English News

UPI, May 29, 2017 -- Philippine military officials said the government has regained control of most of Marawi from militants in fighting that has driven residents from the city and killed about 100 people.

Maute fighters, who have declared allegiance to the Islamic State, now control small portions within the southern Philippine city, the military said.

"The armed forces and the police and all our forces are in complete control of the city, except for certain areas of the city where they continue to hold," Gen. Restituto Padilla, of the Philippines' armed forces, said.

Security forces regained control of eight areas, including the Mindanao State University campus and the Amai Pakpak Hospital.

Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., of the Western Mindanao Command, said troops are unable to take over some places because terrorists might use trapped residents as human shields.

Since the fighting, 18 military and police personnel, 61 Maute fighters and 19 civilians have died. The nation's military said Sunday, eight bodies were found near the university and another eight in a ditch at the edge of the city.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law Tuesday on the southern island of Mindanao, where Marawi is located, after the army attempted Monday to capture a top militant leader. The militants took over several buildings and burned others.

Residents fled the city but a local official said about 2,000 people were unable to leave the city.

Marawi, because of its Muslim-majority population, is known as "Islamic City."