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Friday, June 2, 2017

Army commander sacked after ISIS siege of Marawi City

PAGADIAN CITY – An army commander was relieved from his post following a deadly attack by local ISIS fighters who up to now are still occupying Marawi City in the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Sur.
Brigadier General Nixon Fortes, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi City, has been replaced by his deputy, Colonel Generoso Ponio. Fortes, who failed to prevent the May 23 siege of Marawi, is designated as assistant commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Zamboanga del Sur province.
The division commander, Brigadier General Rolando Bautista, now heads security forces battling the militants. The army said over 160 militants had been killed, but dozens of soldiers were also slain and wounded in street battles since the first day of the clashes.
Troops were having difficulties penetrating villages in Marawi because of the presence of snipers and militants armed with anti-tank rockets. At least 4 armored personnel carriers had been destroyed by ISIS which is fighting for a caliphate in the restive region.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday also flew to Zamboanga Sibugay province and visited the wake of an infantryman, who was one of 11 troops killed when a wayward bomb dropped from a military plane hit a group of soldiers. Seven others were wounded in the bombing. (Mindanao Examiner)
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