Marawi, Manila declares the end of battle with jihadists

Military operations ended in the night. The soldiers tried to convince the guerrillas to surrender, without success. About 40 corpses found in two buildings and a mosque near Lake Lanao, possible mass suicide. The fighting resulted in the deaths of at least 1,131 people, including 919 militants and 165 of soldiers and policemen. 1,780 hostages released.


Marawi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana this morning announced the end of the fighting in Marawi, about five months after hundreds of jihadists attacked the southern city, in a bold attempt to transform it into a "province" Islamic State (IS).

Lorenzana said military operations ended in the night after government troops prevailed in the last attack on guerrillas who had fallen back on several buildings in the heart of Marawi. "There are no more militants in the city," he said.

Military spokesman Gen. Restituto Padilla said that in the last hours of the conflict, soldiers tried to convince guerrillas to surrender, without success. About 40 corpses were found in two buildings and a mosque near Lake Lanao. An army official says it is possible that mass suicide may have occurred after the troops encircled the last Islamist fighters.

Fights in Marawi caused the death of at least 1,131 people, including 919 militants and 165 of soldiers and policemen. At least 1,780  hostages seized by militants, including Marawi Vicar General Fr. "Chito" Suganob, were saved in rescue operations and a final group of 20 prisoners was released during the night. This left militant Islamists without hostages, used for months as human shields to slow down military advancement.

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