Gov’t troops start final push to retake Marawi
MARAWI CITY — Security forces started their final push on Wednesday in a bid to fully retake this war-torn city from the control of Islamic State-inspired militants.
The fighting here has been ongoing for more than three months, resulting in the death of nearly 800 people — 45 of them civilians.
But even if it was making a final push, the military said it was still uncertain when the violence would finally end.
“We cannot say how many more days before we can finish the fight but as far as we are concerned, we are only about 500 meters to the lake from this point,” Brig. Gen. Melquiades Ordiales, the commander of the 1st Marine Brigade, told reporters as he toured reporters in the vicinity of Barangay Mapandi and the Mapandi Bridge, which the Maute Group and its allies had previously controlled.
Ordiales said the lakeside was where the extremists had fled as government forces closed in on them. He said they were positioned in some tall buildings there.
“We are on the last and final push,” he said. “The exchange of gunfire has become a normal situation because for every inch of a building we try to take, the enemies resist.”
Ordiales said the taking of Mapandi Bridge in recent days was critical and necessary as this served as the main supply route for the Maute.
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