PHILIPPINE Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana declared an end to the five-month jihadist siege of Marawi yesterday after over 1,100 people died in the conflict, which raised fears of the Isis death cult gaining a foothold.
Mr Lorenzana told a meeting of south-east Asian defence ministers in Manila that troops had recovered 42 bodies of insurgents known as Mautes.
“Those are the last group of stragglers of Mautes and they were caught in one building so there was a firefight, so they were finished. There are no more militants inside Marawi City,” he explained.
“The Philippine security forces, aided by its government and the massive support of the Filipino people, have nipped the budding infrastructure and defeated terrorism in the Philippines.”
Mr Lorenzana told the meeting that this achievement had shown how regional co-operation could contain the spread of terrorism.