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Rodrigo Duterte declares Marawi liberated after five-month siege

During the fighting, about 1,700 hostages were rescued, including 20 on Monday, he added

IANS  |  Manila 

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

President on Tuesday declared the conflict-hit city of liberated from (IS)-affiliated militants following a five-month-long siege.

"I hereby declare the liberation of Marawi," CNN quoted Duterte as saying.

Duterte's announcement comes a day after the army killed Isnilon Hapilon, the self-proclaimed emir of the IS in Southeast Asia and leader of the Islamist rebels in southern Philippines, and Omar Maute

More than 800 militants and 162 government security forces have been killed in the nearly 150 days of fighting since the jihadi extremists took over the Muslim-majority city on May 23, according to General Eduardo Ano, of the Armed Forces of the (AFP).

During the fighting, about 1,700 hostages were rescued, including 20 on Monday, he added.

The violence forced more than 350,000 residents to flee the city and the surrounding areas, as their homes were reduced to rubble by airstrikes and militant fire.

Duterte declared martial law across the island, which was extended in July until end of year, despite questions over the move's constitutionality.

First Published: Tue, October 17 2017. 20:24 IST
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