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Marawi fighting almost over, says Duterte

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The end is near for the conflict in Marawi, but don’t expect a celebration from the government when the smoke clears.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday, Sept. 20, that everybody has lost in the fighting between government forces and Islamic State-allied extremists, which had nearly leveled the once bustling Islamic city.

The fighting in Marawi has been raging for nearly four months.

“I think the fight in Marawi is almost over.  But it will be almost a quiet thing. I do not want any celebration or victory. All of us lost in Marawi. Every Moro that died, or every soldier that died, breaks our heart. They’re all Filipinos,” Mr. Duterte said in an interview on PTV 4, the government television station.

“Out of respect for those who died and for our fellow Filipinos, nobody will talk about victory or defeat,” he added later.

He does not want to hear shouts of “mabuhay” when the fighting stops, he said.

“Let us just pray to God, maybe thank the Lord that it is over. I hope Allah remembers the people of Marawi,” he said.

The President said he would rather focus on raising the funds needed to rebuild the city, he added.

According to him, the conflict in Marawi was “a fight that we never wanted to happen.”

He also defended his decision to put the whole of Mindanao under martial law when the violence erupted in Marawi.

“But because the Constitution mandates that I have to do something about it, that’s why I declared martial law. And I grieve, because I was the one who told the soldiers, ‘Go there to die.’  So that is my burden,” he said. – Inquirer.net

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