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‘Fighting rages into the night in Marawi’

Sporadic fighting between government troops and supporters of an Abu Sayyaf leader continued Tuesday night in Marawi City, a military spokesman said.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, said government troops were also responding to reports that armed men had occupied a hospital and other buildings in the city.

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Padilla earlier said that it was the military and the police that launched operations in the city after getting “reliable” information that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was in the city.

“Our operation is still ongoing in Marawi City and sporadic firefight is still continuing. We cannot provide specifics at this point,” Padilla said.

“The joint AFP-PNP team that is after Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts is determined to finish him off,” he added.

Padilla said they launched the military-police operation based on reliable information “from many concerned citizens tired of terrorism and its effects.”

“We have enough troops and law enforcers on the ground as well as all the appropriate equipment to support our troops,” Padilla said.

“We strongly urge the residents in these areas to remain calm and stay in their homes or evacuate to safer areas if they still can,” he added.

Padilla urged Marawi residents to continue to provide information “on enemy location and their movements so we can swiftly conclude this important security operation.”

“Our citizens have the opportunity to contribute and are encouraged to perform their patriotic duty to ensure the safety of their community,” he added.

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Islamic State, Marawi City, Maute group, Philippine news updates
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