On Friday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) captured the Grand mosque in Marawi city, according to AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr. The mosque was the main headquarter for ISIS fighters in Marawi city.
“There were two very important operational achievements our troops were able to achieve over the last few days during this week. One was the retaking of Marawi City Police Station, a significant development, a symbol of authority over the city, and it was located in the strategic point. And the retaking of this installation was part of our priorities. The second is the retaking of Marawi City’s grand mosque or the Islamic Center, an operation that allowed us to reach at this stage but took us almost a month before this was achieved. The clearing is still ongoing,” Padilla said.
Moreover, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited the front line in Marawi city including the newly captured Grand mosque. Duterte even fired a shot from a sniper rifle on an ISIS position showing his support to the AFP.
“I need to be with you to show my solidarity,” Duterte said.
So far 596 ISIS fighters have been killed by the AFP in Marawi city, while the AFP has lost 129 soldiers.