24 November 2017

The Philippines to rebuild war-torn Marawi

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As state troops continue to battle the Daesh-linked Maute group in Marawi, the government has commenced efforts to rebuild the war-torn city. reports citing Anadolu agency.

“The construction of the initial 1,100 temporary shelter units shall begin by the first week of September,” Inquirer news quoted Task Force Bangon Marawi spokesperson Kristoffer Purisima as saying in a media briefing.

The shelters will be built on an 11-hectare private property, leased to the government, to house the more than 50,000 families displaced by the clashes.

It will have a madrasah, kitchen area, wash room, market, mosque, water supply, toilets and a multi-purpose hall.

The Marawi military offensives started May 23, after the Maute group reacted to the failure of government troops to capture Isnilon Hapilon, considered by many to be the Philippines most wanted terrorist. Washington has placed a $5 million bounty on his head. President Rodrigo Duarte wants him dead or alive.

Hapilon was reported to have fled the battle zone during the early weeks of the siege, however, in a recent statement, Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said, “he is still in the area” fighting alongside the Maute group.

As the military advances its position, operations are now confined in two villages -- the equivalent to less than a square-kilometer area, according to military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.

“So, as we go through the military operations, it is becoming a very close fight and the complexities on the ground are really becoming much more challenging,” said Padilla.

As of Aug. 4, 522 militants, 119 state troops and 45 civilians were killed according to military’s official death toll.

Meanwhile, Duterte surprised soldiers in Marawi, with a visit Friday to boost morale.

It was Duterte’s, second visit to Marawi and just like his first July 20, the president’s trip was announced to the media only after he left.

Duterte had a familial dialogue with the soldiers. “I have to be here because I want all of you to know that I love you all. I hope you will be able to clean up Marawi City and get rid of the terrorists,” Duterte was quoted by ABS-CBN News.

2017.08.05 / 12:51
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