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Philippine military to send more soldiers to Marawi

Philippine military to send more soldiers to Marawi”

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, Joint Task Force Marawi commander Rolando Bautista and Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident commander Danilo Pamonag crossed the bridges.

"We consider this as a victory for the military since these [bridges] were previously held by terrorists as their strategic areas", Arevalo told The Manila Times in a phone interview.

"At 10 a.m. today, September 24, 2017, Major Generals Rolando Bautista and Danilo Pamonag, commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi and commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident, respectively, crossed for the first time since the start of the Marawi siege, the Bayabao Bridge and the Masiu Bridge", said Task Group Ranao deputy commander Col. Romeo Brawner.

Both commanders were met by Brig.

The Marawi crisis started last May 23 when members of the Maute group, which is said to have ties with the IS, occupied Marawi, torched several buildings and held dozens of civilians hostage.

Army Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr. said they expect some of the terrorists to surrender as troops advance in the city's center where most of the Maute men are hiding.

More government troops will be deployed to Marawi City, adding to about 5,000 soldiers already involved in the prolonged fight to liberate the city from the Daesh-inspired Maute Group, a Philippine military official in charge of local operations said on Monday.

"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.

Another bridge, the Baloi (Mapandi) bridge, was retaken by military troops on July 29.

Bautista said crossing the two bridges - Bayabao and Masui - is a significant progress in the effort of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to defeat the terrorists, rescue the remaining hostages, and regain control of the whole city.

Galvez said they withheld the announcement of rescue of the four hostages so as not to jeopardize the operations.

"It allows us access from the outside of Marawi City to the main battle area specifically inside [Marawi]".

"The terrorists are becoming desperate as our soldiers and police are closing in on their defensive positions".

The commander-in-chief and the AFP gave assurance that once the firefight is over, the daunting task of rehabilitation will proceed in full blast.

Also tagged in the diagram were former Marawi City Mayors Fahad "Pre" Salic, Marawi Vice Mayor Arafat Salic, Buadiposo-Buntong Mayor Noron Dadayan of Lanao del Sur, Ditsaan Vice Mayor Noridin Adiong of Ramain, and former Marantao Mayor Mohd Ali "Merikano" Abinal of Lanao del Sur.

"These recent successes will hopefully lead to the quick resolution of this conflict, and eventually, the total liberation of Marawi", Abella said.



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