MANILA - The "last phase" of the armed conflict in Marawi has snuffed the life of a soldier who had promised to marry his girlfriend after the lakeside town is liberated from Islamic State-militants, the military confirmed Tuesday.
A sniper from the Maute terror group killed the Special Forces junior officer during Monday's state offensives, said Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Group Ranao.
"Pinangakuan nya fiancée nIya na ikakasal sila pagkatapos ng Marawi siege. Pero hindi na matutuloy ang kasalan," Brawner said. He declined to name the officer whose family has yet to learn of his death.
(He promised to marry his fiancée after the Marawi siege ends. Their wedding will no longer push through.)
Security forces have entered the "last phase" of their bid to liberate Marawi, 141 days after it was stormed by extremists, said Brawner. The fighting has been confined to 100 structures spread over 4-5 hectares of one barangay.
"Ang mga sundalo natin are determined to finish the firefight already," Brawner said.
Two Maute fighters, he said, were killed in the last 24 hours bringing the number of slain terrorists to 776. About 40 rebels however
were still holed up in the city and being goaded to fight to the death by 8 foreign terrorists.
Video recovered from the cellphones of slain extremists show rebels breaking walls so they could flee from one building to another.
A drone video from the local government meanwhile shows buildings that have been destroyed as the military dropped bombs on terrorist lairs. Report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News