1,000 civilians feared dead in Marawi battles, air strikes

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ILIGAN CITY: An estimated 1,000 residents unable to flee Marawi City, Lanao del Sur are feared dead as the military continued to pound jihadists and as air strikes hit homes in Islamic city, civil society groups claimed on Tuesday.

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“We fear there are more than 1,000 civilians dead in their homes unrecovered, and it will increase if air strikes continue,” Nasrullah Conding, a Marawi leader who carries the title “Sultan of Bacolod,” told reporters in a news conference.

DAY 8 A Philippine Air Force MD-520MG Defender light attack helicopter fires rockets at militant positions in Marawi in Mindanao on Tuesday, as fighting rages on the eighth day. Marawi, a lakeshore city of minarets that is the center of culture for the mainly Catholic Philippines’ Muslim minority, is nearly empty after gunmen wielding black flags of the Islamic State group went on a rampage last week. AFP PHOTO

Conding joined imams, youth and other civil society groups in appealing to warring parties to end the hostilities that have displaced more than 200,000 residents of Marawi.

Of the total Marawi population, only 50 percent were evacuated, Conding claimed.

The groups said that if the AFP gave them permission to pull out bodies from the battle field by suspending attacks, they can get assurance from the other side for the same.

Authorities have recovered only a few bodies of civilians caught in the crossfire, the groups said.

The groups were also joined by Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, a member of Bangsamoro Transition Commission, who confirmed to The Manila Times that she had resigned as a member of the body tasked to craft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will give wider autonomy to Muslims in Mindanao.

She did not comment about her resignation and instead said she was joining the call for solidarity in resolving the Marawi crisis.

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5 Comments

  1. Douglas Rosete on

    The report of 1000 lives or more lost in the seige of Marawi may be exaggerated . If ever , those killed were victims of the ISIS INSPIRED MAUTE/ ASG BARBARIANS THEMSELVES. That is their expertise, by using non combatant civilians as shield and kill those who will not cooperate them .

  2. The government gave them time to evacuate b4 the airstrike but sadly some of them didn’t want to leave. Now they are caught in the crossfire and they want the government to save them? What will happen to them is out of the government hands.

  3. The Malawi government officials who told Maruwi residence to stay instead of leave is to be blame for all of this. It seems they did not learn from what happened to other cities that had been captured by ISIS abroad.

    People who stay are used as human shield, if they are not killed inhumanely for whatever perceive offense they have committed.

    If the government give it to their manipulation, they will take hold of Malawi and it will be hard to eliminate them. More deads will ensure if this happened.

    Someone one has to sacrifice life to save lives.

    Airstrikes was the one of the way other countries fight then in Syria, since they tend to hide among structures.

    The Filipinos should learn from what happened to the cities that got conquered by ISIS. Dead by airstrike might be more merciful than dying in the hand of these inhumane creatures of darkness.

    • The staying indoors directly was stated awhile back, and it has been overridden since. The Military is actually going house-to-house, each house is checked and cleared when done. Pictures and reports even show taht the City is already a ghost town, and the government is doing a pretty good job of controlling and screening evacuees, and coordinating so as to maintain peace and serenity in the vicinity of the evacuation centers.

      It has been reported that the clearing operation is at 90% complete, hence, there is only about 10% of the places in Marawi that needs cleared and they are suspecting that remaining terrorists are situated there, and basically we can also assume that they have there, their hostages.