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Marawi destruction: civilians endure greatest suffering in Philippines city

As of June 7, more than 46,000 families, or 220,000 people have been displaced from their homes

Mong Palatino | Global Voices 

Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Reuters
Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Reuters

On 23 May 2017, a group with alleged links to attacked some parts of City in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. In response, the government declared in Mindanao to pursue the attackers and prevent the spread of in other towns.

The between the and the group known as Maute forced the mass evacuation of residents. As of June 7, more than 46,000 families, or 220,000 persons, have been displaced from their homes. The government said it has provided 33 evacuation centers, but these could only shelter 18,000 persons.

After three weeks of being a battle zone, hundreds of houses and other buildings in were destroyed. The extent of the damage was revealed when rescuers, residents, and journalists uploaded photos and videos of Marawi’s town proper.

The Maute group is blamed for the destruction, but the is also being held accountable because of its continuous The claimed it is conducting ‘surgical bombing’ operations, but some residents said the are being dropped indiscriminately.

Mayor Majul Gandamra is saddened by the destruction in his city:

I weep for all the who were mercilessly killed, I weep for the lost homes of my people and I weep for the loss of the true essence of in the people who caused all these destructions to our lives and properties.

As of May 30, the government said 19 were killed by terrorists.

It is ordinary who are enduring the greatest suffering as the crisis continues to drag on. And even if the clashes end soon, rehabilitating is expected to be a more difficult task because of the destruction caused by the fighting between the and the militants.

A covered court converted into a temporary evacuation center. Some residents are seen lining up to receive relief goods from the local government. Photo from the page of the City government.

This article, written by Mong Palatino, was published on Global Voices on June 14, 2017.

First Published: Thu, June 15 2017. 12:44 IST