• UPDATE: Marawi is free – Duterte


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi on Tuesday following the deaths of the top two Islamist State-linked terrorist leaders who attacked the city.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorists’ influence that marks the beginning of rehabilitation,” Duterte said in his speech during his visit to the troops, his seventh, in the war-torn city.

    With Duterte were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Ano, according to a radio report.

    Isnilon Hapilon, Abu Sayyaf Group leader, and Omar Maute from the group bearing his family name were killed in military operations on Monday.

    The two led a series of attacks in Marawi after government troops tried but failed to serve an arrest warrant against Hapilon in May.

    Inspired by the IS, an international terrorist organization, the Maute group set out to establish a caliphate in the southern Philippines with Hapilon as “emir”.|

    This act of rebellion prompted Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao. Congress extended the proclamation until the end of 2017.

    It was not clear whether Duterte would also lift martial law.


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