Fierce firefight as Philippines' toughest urban war down to last building

T TV Monday 23/October/2017 12:07 PM
By: Times News Service

Troops in the Philippines were locked in an intense battle on Sunday with a pro-IS alliance as the army seeks to declare an end to the country's internal security crisis.
Philippine troops were locked in an intense urban firefight on Sunday (October 22) with the last remnants of a pro-IS alliance, as the army sought to declare an end to the country's biggest internal security crisis in years.
An estimated 30 people, including militants and some of their family members, were battling to hold a fortified, two-storey building next to Marawi City's vast Lake Lanao, and appeared ready to fight to the death, according to the deputy commander of the operation, Colonel Romeo Brawner.
Brawner said they believed foreign operatives were among those still fighting and it was clear there was now a leadership vacuum after the military killed the rebels' two top leaders this week.
Troops have started a phased withdrawal and the authorities may soon allow some residents to return to homes not damaged by the fighting, which displaced at least 300,000 people.
More than 1,000 have been killed in the five-month long conflict, mostly militants.