MARAWI CITY -- Four terrorists died and 10 government soldiers were injured in fighting that continued in this southern Philippine city after President Rodrigo Duterte declared it liberated from "terrorist influence," military officials said Wednesday, October 18.
Duterte visited the battle-scarred city on Tuesday, October 17, and announced its liberation, sparking hopes that thousands of residents can finally return home.
Fierce fighting continued Tuesday night, but military officials said it involved a group of "stragglers."
Marawi, a mosque-studded center of Islamic faith in Mindanao, has been devastated by a siege by members of the Maute terror group who overran the city on May 23. More than 1,000 people have been killed, including at least 854 extremists, according to the military.
"We're continuing to go after about 20-30 stragglers but the fighting in the area can no longer affect the overall security of Marawi," military spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla said.
Armed Forces Chief General Eduardo Ano said the terrorists were confined to a one-hectare (2.5-acre) area of the city. (AP)