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Displaced residents of areas near Marawi City, where ongoing fighting between government forces and the Daesh-linked Maute group has been raging for more than two months, were given a green light by the military to return to their homes on Saturday.
The military is gradually allowing some residents from around the city to go home as some areas far from the “less than a square-kilometer” conflict zone have already been declared safe areas, according to military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in an interview with a local radio station.
Padilla said returning residents had to secure clearances and would be escorted by the military.
Meanwhile, boxing icon turned lawmaker Senator Manny Pacquiao arrived in Marawi City Saturday morning to visit the government troops.
Clad in military fatigues, Pacquiao received a security briefing from military officials and is expected to meet with soldiers who are stationed at Camp Ranao according to ABS-CBN News.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the southern Philippines’ island of Mindanao under martial law on May 23 following an attack by the Maute group in Marawi, which to date has seen 471 terrorists, 114 government troops, and 45 civilians killed.
2017.07.29 / 20:59