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All roads to Marawi main battle area cleared: AFP

Priam Nepomuceno | Philippine News Agency
Manila | November 10, 2017



The military has cleared all roads leading to Marawi City’s main battle area (MBA) where fighting raged for five months against Maute group.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation efforts are ongoing in the war-torn city.

“Our construction engineers from the Army, Air Force, and Navy have been working day in and day out to ensure that 100 percent of the primary roads and bridges in the MBA of Marawi are passable and cleared of unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices (IEDs),” he said.

More than 500 military engineers are currently deployed in Marawi City as part of the Joint Engineer Task Group (JETG) led by Brig. Gen. Arnold Fernandez.

The task group is supporting the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation operations being led by Task Force Bangon Marawi.

As of this report, the JETG has completed the ground preparation of portions of temporary resettlement area in Sagon-songan while clearing operations continue in the MBA.

“Aside from engineer manpower, we have utilized our construction vehicles and equipment to clear-off rubbles and debris as well as in the demolition of buildings in the city’s MBA. We are yet to identify possible dump sites locations for the unexploded ordnance and IEDs,” Arevalo said.

Equipment used in the ground development operations are dozers, pay loaders, backhoe loaders, skid steers, road graders, and excavator.

The JETG is also tasked to support the restoration of essential services such as water and electricity to selected government centers, and places of worships.

Among the establishments that need repair and rehabilitation are St. Mary’s Church, Grand Mosque, and Bato Mosque.

“The AFP lauds our combat engineers who, in the first weeks of the Marawi Crisis have been present in the main battle area to support our operating units. As we transition to the rehabilitation phase, their services will significantly be needed in order to successfully get Marawi back on its feet,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.

“Rest assured that our troops will remain steadfast in its support operations towards the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City,” he added. (PNA)
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