MANILA- They braved the frontlines and died fighting.
Malacañang on Friday released the names of 45 soldiers and police officers who died in clashes against Islamic State-linked terror groups in Marawi City.
The fallen government troops include 40 from the Philippine Army, two from the Philippine Marines, and three from the Philippine National Police.
The death toll in Marawi City has reached more than 200 as government forces continued to clear the conflict-torn city of terrorists from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, along with foreign jihadists.
Clashes between government troops and the terrorists broke out on May 23, as state forces attempted to arrest terror leader Isnilon Hapilon, known to be the anointed ISIS chief in Southeast Asia.
Video found by the military showed that Hapilon, along with Maute leaders, planned to carry out attacks in the city days before the clashes began.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on the same day the firefights began.
On Friday, the military said it hoped to liberate the city on June 12, Independence Day.
At least 200 have died in the firefights while more than 200,000 residents have fled the city since clashes started.