Philippine military launch offensive in Marawi

2017-06-20 15:00 GMT+8
Editor Chen Xuanlan

The Philippine military has launched a renewed push against ISIL-linked militants holed up in the southern city of Marawi. 

Aircraft bombed rebel positions, and ground troops used automatic guns and artillery against the militants. A military spokesman said the aim was to wrap up the fighting before the weekend Eid al-Fitr festival.

The offensive came amid concern that rebel reinforcements could arrive after Eid, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The spokesman said the army is closely watching certain groups who might join the fighting after Ramadan.

The conflict has now entered its fifth week, and nearly 350 people have been killed, according to the official count.

Copyright © 2017