As residents seek safety, much of Marawi has become a ghost town, with pockets held either by extremists or troops. Soldiers take positions while evading sniper fire as they try to clear Marawi City of militants on May 25, 2017. Soldiers take positions while evading sniper fire as they try to clear Marawi City of militants on May 25. Essay about war in marawi what was to be her wedding day, Stephanie Villarosa ate chocolate-flavored rice porridge out of a styrofoam cup.
Iligan City on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Instead, Villarosa was huddled on an institutional plastic chair 38 km south of Iligan, inside Marawi City’s provincial government building. Outside, sniper fire crackled over the mosque-dotted hills to the east and military FA50 fighter jets thundered overhead. Survival has become a daily battle in Marawi, the capital of Mindanao’s Lanao del Sur province and whose mostly Muslim 200,000 population make the city the biggest Islamic community in what is otherwise an overwhelmingly Catholic country. She ran, hid, and took shelter in a nearby house with 38 other people.
We had to run, walk, crawl. Seven of her colleagues, including the school’s principal, were unaccounted for, but, low on food and water, and with news that the military was set to bomb the area, Villarosa decided to get to the sanctuary of city hall. The battle for Marawi began on May 23, when the Philippine military tried to capture Isnilon Hapilon, the head of a southern militia that has pledged loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. But the army met fiercer than expected resistance.
Allied with another pro-ISIS brigade called the Maute Group, Hapilon’s fighters took a priest and his congregation hostage, freed prisoners from the local jail, and overran the city. More than three weeks later, the fighting persists, hundreds have died—militants, soldiers, civilians—and hundreds more residents remain trapped in the city. Many have no electricity or running water. Food stocks are diminishing fast.
As residents seek safety, much of Marawi has become a ghost town. Iligan’s Capin Funeral Homes, one of a scattering of morgues in the area for Marawi’s minority Christians, is where some bodies from the conflict have been taken. A handwritten stack of crocodile-clipped papers logs newly received cadavers. That Sunday, six more decomposed bodies were logged, including two women and a girl.
On Monday, another eight bodies were registered. A Marawi survivor later told local journalist Jeff Canoy that those were his colleagues from a rice mill. About a hundred of them had hunkered down at the mill, the survivor said, and the Muslims taught their Christian co-workers Islamic prayers to deceive the militants. After four days hiding, the rice millers made a break for it. Most reached the army checkpoints ringing the city, but a few didn’t.
Arabic and the local Maranao language—written on placards across their chests. As TIME toured the Capin morgue, four men wearing masks hoisted in another cadaver from Marawi. It was missing its head. 0″,”credit”:””,”camera”:””,”caption”:””,”created_timestamp”:”0″,”copyright”:”This content is subject to copyright. Smoke rises after aerial bombings by Philippine Air Force planes on Islamist militant positions in Marawi on June 9, 2017. Smoke rises after Philippine Air Force bombings on militant positions on June 9. Now he is facing a different fight.
When Marawi hostilities broke out, Duterte declared martial law for 60 days across Mindanao. Jose Calida, solicitor-general of the Philippines. The situation has become so serious that the U. Washington no longer has military bases in the Philippines.
But a 1951 mutual defense treaty allows the two governments to come to the aid of each other, and more recent agreements have seen American military personnel acting as advisers to Philippine forces, especially in Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu archipelago, both hotbeds of insurgency. Marawi providing surveillance support to Philippine ground troops. A Philippine military spokesman later confirmed that the U. Marawi is the latest front in what has been a recent surge of apparently ISIS-linked attacks beyond the carnage in Iraq and Syria.