marawi terror attack

Marawi: Images from a ghost town

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

Rappler correspondent Bobby Lagsa is one of the 3 photojournalists who are able to go around some parts of Marawi City on the 3rd day of the siege

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines (May 27, 2017) — Marawi City’s Amai Pakpak Avenue has had more soldiers than residents. So have the other streets in the city proper. Since the military started hunting down members of the Maute Group and other terrorists on Tuesday, May 23, Lanao del Sur’s capital has been a ghost town.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

An eerie silence enveloped major junctions in what was supposed to be the center of trade and activity in the province and home to more than 200,000 people on Thursday, when Rappler took these photos. It was the first time a few media people were able to slip into the besieged city.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

Schools and jail had been burned down, mosque and chapels were closed, hospital sieged. Some residents were taken hostage by the terrorists, and later rescued by government forces.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

Thousands of residents have fled Marawi to the relative safety of Iligan in Lanao del Norte, and of Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental, enduring hours-long traffic and military checkpoints.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

Still, some decided to stay to watch over their closed shops and houses, but later begged that they be brought food and water.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

And for every morning that they stayed, explosions and gunshots would wake them up.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the troops in Iligan City Friday afternoon, May 26, giving them marching orders to arrest every person carrying firearms without authorization, and to shoot them when they fight back.

marawi terror attack
Image by Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com

Sasamahan ko kayo (I’ll be with you all the way). If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law, and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible. Trabaho lang [kayo]. Ako na bahala (Just do you job, I have your back),” he said.

His defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, set a target: the siege of Marawi will be over in a week or less.


  by Rappler.com