Marawi siege down to the last 500 m: AFP chief. No way out; no way in. Exits and entry points sealed. Last ditch battle might be bloody and fierce.

Marawi being retaken.

PICS: and durianburgdavao

PICS: and durianburgdavao

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The siege of Marawi City that started on May 23rd is slowly but steadily heading for closure. The most violent phase might still not be over since the Maute terrorists are waiting for the final thrust of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
That is because the marauders have nowhere to go; the AFP has surrounded and badly outnumbered them in their hideouts. In other words, they are cornered without any hopes of survival or escape.
The only desperate consolation that their long frustrated minds bear in their obstinate state that they will be called martyrs.
Gen. Eduardo Año, Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Tuesday that the terrorists are trapped. No reinforcements or help is expected to come to their aid; nor is thereway out of the holes that they dug for themselves.
The only outcome can be a bloody death which is the only foregone conclusion. President Duterte meanwhile commented that they were only fulfilling the wishes of the terrorists who wanted to go to heaven.
As the troops move in, the fighting arena gets smaller and smaller. Authoritative sources inform that the shrinking war zone is now down to only 500 meters square.
The troops are sealing off the points of entry and exit all over the area. That exactly is what the AFP is aiming at, Ano remarked; no way in and no way out, he said.
The leaders
When questioned as to where the leaders of the Maute were, the AFP Chief informed that they were still in the area. Abdullah Maute and Omar Maute are in Marawi City as per the intelligence reports.
This was also true for Isnilon Hapilon, who is the overall leader in Southeast Asia. Hapilon heads the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and is also within Marawi City.
Slowly and steadily, government forces have taken over the positions that were held by the terrorists. The grand mosque is still having terrorists hiding and we may be able to avoid bombing it, Ano said.
However, the last battle is likely to be fiercely fought since the Maute know what the outcome is going to be, he said.
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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017