MANILA - Despite a humanitarian ceasefire declared by the military Sunday morning, the rescue of civilians trapped in the besieged city of Marawi was stopped after gunshots were heard in the war zone.
The convoy of rescuers was not even able to get past the area near the capitol building of Lanao del Sur because of the incident.
This means trapped civilians, who may need immediate help, need to walk 2 to 3 kilometers across the battlefield to reach the rescuers.
A member of the Philippine Marines was reportedly shot and wounded despite the 4-hour ceasefire declared by the Army.
The ceasefire was supposed to last from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. It was declared to get trapped civilians out of the war-torn city.
The continuing battle between government troops and terrorists in the southern city since May 23 has already left 175 people dead.
According to the military, the casualties include 120 terrorists, 36 government troops and 19 civilians.
While thousands of Marawi residents have already fled to nearby towns and cities, many remain trapped in the city.
Rescuers have been risking their lives every day trying to find ways to safely escort the trapped civilians to safety. --Report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News