MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from 48 days of fighting in Marawi City has breached the 500-mark, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday, July 10.
As of Sunday, July 9, government troops have been able to kill 379 of the terrorists who attempted to take over the Lanao del Sur capital on May 23.
At least 89 soldiers and policemen have also been killed in the clashes, while 39 civilians were killed by members of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, according to the AFP.
More than 1,723 civilians – either those trapped in the combat zone or those who were taken hostage – have been rescued by both government and non-governmental bodies. Military and police have recovered 451 firearms from the terror groups.
While the military has refused to give a new deadline for the conflict after missing several self-imposed deadlines in the past, it is already starting to help plan Marawi City's rehabilitation.
The AFP earlier announced it would be sending military engineers to map out the rebuilding of the city.
"In the coming days, we hope to show to the public the artist's rendition of temporary shelters to be constructed consistent with Maranao culture," the military said on Monday.
A key Duterte ally, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, said he wants martial law to stay in place until 2022 or the end of Duterte's term. But AFP spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said on Monday that a 5-year extension of martial law might be too long. Some of Alvarez's fellow lawmakers also slammed his proposal. – Rappler.com