MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Rain was pouring but it did not douse the jubilation inside the battle zone in Marawi City.
On Tuesday, October 17, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from terrorists on Tuesday, October 17, to the applause of soldiers who fought fierce battles with local armed groups linked with international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS).
He said it signals the beginning of massive work to rehabilitate the city flattened by a war that dragged on for nearly 5 months.
The declaration comes as the military declared the presence of a few dozen fighters in the battle insignifant.
The top leaders behind the siege – Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute – were killed past midnight on Monday.
Rappler correspondent Bobby Lagsa took these photos.
Troops stare at enlarged photos of the dead bodies of terror leadres Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute