Mosques in besieged city of Marawi are no longer military target

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (With a report from Rhoderick Beñez)

MARAWI CITY – The Philippine military said it would not target places of worships in the besieged Islamic city of Marawi where ISIS militants were holed out and fighting security forces trying to dislodge them from their strongholds.

Brigadier General Resituto Padilla, a military spokesman, made this announcement after one army official, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said mosques, where ISIS fighters are using to attack civilians and troops, would be targeted by security forces.

“I would like to clarify that the Armed Forces will not bomb mosques,” Padilla clarified, saying, the military respects places of worships.

Just last week, a sniper bullet found its target in the head of a 15-year old Muslim praying inside a mosque in Marawi. The military blamed ISIS for the killing.

Fighting still continue in Marawi since militants occupied the city on May 23 in a failed effort to declare it a province of the Islamic State in the Philippines. Dozens of soldiers and militants, including civilians, were killed in the violence.

At least 70 policemen and about 60 civilians were also reported missing since then and efforts to locate them failed.

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