Flame rises as damaged buildings including a mosque are seen after government troops cleared the area from pro-Islamic State militant groups inside a war-torn area in Marawi city, southern Philippines October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
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The Philippines Monday announced the end of five months of military operations in a southern city held by pro-Daesh (ISIS) rebels, after a fierce and unfamiliar urban war that has marked the country's biggest security crisis in years.The authorities said 920 militants, 165 troops and police and at least 45 civilians were killed in the conflict, which displaced more than 300,000 people.The deputy task force commander in Marawi, Col. Romeo Brawner, said troops would secure the city from militant "stragglers" who might still be alive.Gen. Restituto Padilla confirmed there was still gunfire ongoing, but there were "no more terrorists" and the army's last battles were with an enemy decimated by the loss of its leadership.Lorenzana said six battalions of troops would remain in Marawi and though the battle had been won, the enemy's radical ideology had not been completely annihilated.
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