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Battle for besieged Marawi City gets fiercer

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MARAWI CITY - The battle for Marawi City in the southern Philippines is getting fiercer than ever as government troops and Islamic State-allied militants fight for a 26th day on Saturday.

That was no doubt the sound of a sniper fire filling in the air of the city. Wounded soldiers of the government troops were telling the China Global Television Network (CGTN) that they were facing great dangers and their enemies were difficult to defeat.

"It's hard because they've occupied the tallest buildings. You don't know where they'll hit you from behind or from the side or right in front of you. You can't see the snipers," said Christopher Tamparong, a soldier with the Scout Rangers, a Philippine Army Special Operations Command.

"The enemy who wounded me was only five to seven meters away. At first I didn't know I was hit, I only realized it as I was moving away. Some of the battle is wall to wall and face to face," said Mark Erwin Rule, another soldier of Scout Rangers.

Despite the challenges, no one, not the troops on the ground nor the military leadership, is losing hope. The army spokesperson in Marawi said on Saturday that they are continuing to advance and that they have retaken key structures and bridges in the city and that it is only a matter of time before Marawi is liberated. — Reuters

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