Marawi Update 08/09: Week 11 of the Marawi Crisis
Fighting continues as the Marawi crisis entered its third month. According to military reports, the death toll among civilians, government troops and militants is now approaching 700.
As background to the fighting, The Economist reported that the siege was carried out by a group that demonstrated sophistication and strength. What was originally thought to be a low-level threat proclaiming ties to ISIS, a group of militants led by the Maute brothers has shown themselves to be highly organized with strategic goals. The brothers had studied in the Middle East, had links to jihadists in Indonesia, and have even recruited at home from among the faculty and students at Mindanao State University in Marawi. The Maute group is said to have attracted more than half of the militants who attacked Marawi locally. Foreign fighters have also joined the group.
In his second State of the Nation Address on July 23, President Duterte said, “the battle of Marawi has dealt a terrible blow to our quest for peace, especially now that an alien ideology and a radical shift in purpose have been injected into the local setting.” The Philippine Congress approved on July 22 the extension of martial law in Mindanao until end of this year.
According to press reports, some displaced residents have expressed a desire to return to their homes. But, the government is restricting any return until fighting and clearing operations are completed, and secure and sanitary conditions can be assured.
Please consider supporting the relief and recovery efforts in Marawi. The US-Philippines Society has partnered with Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) to provide medical assistance to evacuees. The US-Philippines Society is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Humanitarian Crisis in Marawi: How You Can Help
Violence in Marawi has forced the displacement of hundreds of thousands of residents.
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