Philippine Troops Celebrate Liberation of War-Torn Marawi

Jeoffrey Maitem
2017.10.17
Marawi, Philippines
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Clouds roll over a devastated Marawi neighborhood, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews)

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A sign points the way to Marawi as troops march along an abandoned street, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews)

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A combat vehicle carries troops who celebrate after nearly five months of fighting, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews)

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Troops and their commander-in-chief, President Rodrigo Duterte, raise fists in celebration of Marawi’s liberation, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews)

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Philippine salute their nation's flag in Marawi, Oct. 17, 2017. [Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews]

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Buildings in the background show the scars of war as troops pledge to the flag, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews)

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Troops survey the aftermath of fierce fighting in Marawi, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews)

Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET on 2017-10-17

President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine troops celebrated the liberation of Marawi on Tuesday after nearly five months of heavy fighting with militants linked to the Islamic State left much of the city in ruins.

Following the pronouncement, explosions could be heard as the few remaining militant fighters continued their battles and a military spokesman cautioned troops against letting their guard down until all fighting had stopped.

Despite the concern, Duterte’s pronouncement “I hearby declare Marawi city liberated,” brought somber cheers from troops who have been on the front line since militants seized control of the southern city on May 23. Since fighting began, 822 militants, 164 soldiers and at least 47 civilians have been killed.

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