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Troops in ‘final push’ in Marawi

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

Government troops are making the “final push” against the remaining terrorists in Marawi City after regaining control of another strategic bridge in the battle area, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the retaking of the Masiu Bridge was a “significant development” in the government’s goal of ending the rebellion in Marawi.

“The Masiu Bridge is the bridge said to be closest to Lake Lanao and is a possible escape route of the remaining terrorist rebels still holed up in the main battle area,” Abella said.

“Government troops are now in the final push and despite the enemy’s continued resistance, our recent successes would hopefully lead to the eventual liberation of the entire city and pave the way back to normalcy,” he added.

Four months into the fighting in Marawi, the military has reclaimed Masiu Bridge previously held by the rebels during operations last Friday. The government earlier took control of Mapandi Bridge and Bayabao Bridge from the enemy force.

President Duterte recently assured the military was winding up operations in Marawi but ruled out holding a victory celebration. Duterte said he prefers to hold a thanksgiving event, including a mass, for the troops and other people who died from the Maute-led rebellion.

Fighting between government troops and Islamic State-linked rebels erupted last May 23, forcing thousands of families to flee their homes. The conflict has left more than 800 people dead and Marawi in ruins.

Duterte has promised to use a portion of the tax settlement from Mighty Corp. would be used to rebuild the war-torn city of Marawi.

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