Philippines: Regime declares end to five-month militant siege in Marawi

Source: National Post [Canada]

“The Philippine government declared the end Monday to the militant siege of a southern city that lasted five months, left more than 1,100 people dead and sparked fears of the Islamic State group gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia. Speaking at an annual meeting of the region’s defence ministers, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that combat operations in Marawi were ending after troops recovered 42 bodies of the last group of militants. … Hundreds of militants, many waving Islamic State group-style black flags, launched the siege on May 23 in Marawi, a bastion of Islamic faith in the south of the largely Roman Catholic Philippines, by seizing the lakeside city’s central business district and outlying communities. They ransacked banks and shops, including gun stores, looted houses and smashed statues in a Roman Catholic cathedral, according to the military. The fighting has left at least 1,131 people dead, including 919 militants and 165 soldiers and police.” (10/23/17)

http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/filipino-troops-battling-final-30-is-linked-gunmen