Marawi (Agenzia Fides) - "We are anxiously waiting for the fate of our 15 Christian parishioners, hostages in the hands of Maute terrorist group in Marawi. The crisis continues. But it is not a war of religion: as Bishops of the Philippines we made it clear in the past few days": says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Edwin de la Pena, at the head of the Prelature of Marawi, who follows the issue of the siege of the city, where the jihadists of the "Maute" group, who swore allegiance to the Islamic State, continue to be barricaded in an area of the city. Since the day of the terrorist attack launched on 23 May, the number of deaths in the clashes in Marawi has exceeded 500: 392 jihadist militants have died, 93 are soldiers and at least 45 civil victims.
Military leaders have informed that the crisis in Marawi will not end, as hoped, by July 24, and the day in which President Duterte will pronounce his second speech on the state of the nation. July 22, moreover, is the day when the two-month period of "martial law" expires, which will most likely be prolonged by the president if the fighting is still in progress.
The Philippine Armed Forces have announced that they need another 10 to 15 days to regain the buildings occupied by the terrorists in Marawi. As announced, some 600 buildings still need to be liberated from snipers and the army is able, on average, to regain about 40-50 buildings per day. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 14/7/2017)