MANILA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine defense chief expressed optimism on Monday that all Islamist militants inside Marawi City will be flushed out by June 1, or by Thursday this week.
In a text message to defense reporters, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the target is to clear the southern Philippine city on Mindanao island of the remnants of Maute militants linked to the Islamic State group that tried to occupy the city on May 23.
"(The) timetable is one week from May 25," Lorenzana said, adding that he is being updated by developments in the besieged city.
The militants launched the siege to establish a caliphate in that part of Mindanao, according to Philippines authorities.
Lorenzana said the government troops "are on track" in meeting the June 1 deadline.
Read the full story at Xinhua