BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 A.M.) – The Philippine government forces continued their operation against members of the Islamic State-aligned Maute group in Marawi’s Barangay Mapandi, Sunday.
Some 50 Maute militants are reportedly being pursued by government forces as Marawi remains blockaded.
During the operation, several armoured vehicles were reportedly damaged in Barangay Mapandi, a Maute stronghold.
Efforts to evacuate some 2,000 civilians trapped by the fighting between the government forces and Maute militants were halted when a proposed four-hour ceasefire deal failed amid renewed gunfire and airstrikes.
Out of 2,000 trapped civilians, only 170 were reportedly evacuated since rescuers were only able to access areas located on the fringes of Maute-held zones.
The ceasefire accord was initially reached after last week’s meeting between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and representatives of the country’s largest opposition group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who offered to broker the ceasefire negotiations.
Under the accord, unarmed MILF militants were expected to evacuate trapped Marawi residents during the four-hour period, which was due to end at 12:00 local time (4:00 GMT).
Over 180 people have already died after the Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL), stormed the city on May 23.
Most of the 200,000 population have fled though over 2,000 remain trapped in Marawi.
Duterte has declared martial law in the area for a period of 60 days.