25 September 2017

News Story: Battle to free Marawi in Philippines continues, enters fifth month

MANILA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Bullets continue to fly and rocket bombs continue to explode in Marawi as the military offensive to completely retake the southern Philippine city from Islamic State (IS)-inspired extremists entered its fifth month.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the pro-IS Maute militants managed to prepare sufficient caches of bombs, high-powered firearms and ammunition to fight the government security forces even before they laid siege to Marawi on May 23.

"The Maute was really preparing for a long-haul (fight). Until now, they never run out of ordnance, explosives, ammunition, and all. I really do not know the extent now of the contamination," Duterte told reporters in his home city of Davao late Friday.

He said local politicians who are into drug trafficking funded the war in Marawi. He showed a new diagram of politicians and people who are allegedly linked to illegal drug trade.

To date, he said "hundreds" of soldiers and policemen have been killed in drug-related encounters.

Read the full story at Xinhua