MARAWI CITY: Authorities are investigating the cause of two separate fire incidents here on Monday that razed several houses in abandoned villages in the western part of this city earlier declared “clear” of the Maute group.
Photos of the burning houses went viral on social media where netizens said the houses could have been set ablaze purposely as residents were not allowed to return to their homes.
Authorities confirmed the reports but denied the claims saying they were still investigating the incidents in the villages of Panggaw Saduc and Saber at about 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The two villages were among those earlier declared clear of Maute-IS bandits who continuously resisted government forces on Tuesday in the eastern part of the city since conflict broke out on May 23.
Authorities in Lanao del Sur said the provincial government and Provincial Bureau of Fire Protection with the police, the Army, and other fire responding units from Baloi town and Iligan City in Lanao del Norte responded to the incidents.
No casualties were recorded and cost of damage was still being determined, the local government said in a public statement online.