MANILA, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The more than four-month battle to retake the southern Philippine city of Marawi from pro-Islamic State extremists may end this weekend, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.
Citing the assessment of military ground commanders, Lorenzana told reporters at the House of Representatives that he is confident that the troops will completely gain control of the city by Sept. 30.
"Our military commanders on the ground said that they will end the conflict before the end of this month, so they have three days to do the job," Lorenzana said.
"I'm very confident, I'm very confident with the abilities of our soldiers to do their job."
The military has been battling the pro-Islamic State Maute group since May 23, when the militants occupied a large part of the city. The war has continued and dragged on for 129 days, killing nearly 700 militants and more than 150 government security forces.
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