End of Marawi offensive could happen Sunday, military says

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(File photo) Some Marawi soldiers wave before they head back home.

Marawi City (CNN Philippines, October 21) — The military announced offensives against the remaining Maute terrorists in the city could end by Sunday.

"Dalawa, tatlong battalion na lang natitira doon sa loob. Kumbaga, yung ating mga forces, kaya nga tayo nagse-send-off kasi insignificant na 'yung fighting, meaning, talagang one-sided," Western Mindanao Command Chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez said on Saturday.

[Translation:Two or three battalions are left inside. That's why we're conducting send-offs because the fighting is insignificant, it's really one-sided.]

Officials said the fighting is now limited to five buildings in the battle zone, with pursuit operations targeting at least 20 members of the Maute group.


As a result, the military has been pulling out troops in Marawi , following the declaration of the city's liberation on October 17.

On Friday, 288 soldiers were sent home and were given a heroes' welcome at the Philippine Army headquarters in Taguig.

READ: LOOK: Troops return home from Marawi

Another military unit, the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 10, is leaving Marawi on Saturday. It is the second contingent to withdraw from Marawi.

The unit was deployed during the first few days of the Marawi attack.

MBLT 10, along with other marine units, are credited for retaking the three main bridges in Marawi which the Maute group initially took control to isolate the city proper.

Two other marine units are set to leave Marawi in the coming days.

About 35 marines have died, and close to 400 others were injured during their five-month tour of duty in Marawi.