LOOK | Freeing Marawi house by house, street by street

May 26, 2017 - 8:24 AM
Soldiers warily scan surrounding buildings for snipers as they make their way down a street in Marawi City. (File photo by Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)

MARAWI CITY — It was slow and literally deadly going as the Army platoon, backed by an armored personnel carrier, fought to retake Marawi City, going from house to house, one street at a time, their progress accompanied by the constant whine of incoming sniper fire.

A police commando provides cover as his comrade maneuvers behind him. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)

Thursday’s clashes alone cost the government six soldiers dead and seven wounded, the Western Mindanao Command said. Among the dead were comrades of the troops we were accompanying.

A soldier peers from cover. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)

It was the third day of clashes between government forces and gunmen of the Maute group that broke out Tuesday, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to place the whole of Mindanao under martial law and cut short a visit to Russia.

Two soldiers aim their rifles toward a suspected enemy position. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)

Artillery and air support was provided through most of Thursday to help the troops on the ground advance.

A soldier rushes for cover as he alights from a military truck. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)

Thus far, according to 1st Infantry Division commander Brigadier General Rolando Joselito Bautista, 31 of the extremists have been killed and six of their weapons recovered.

A soldier signals to his comrades down the road while another checks his radio for incoming communications. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)

And although most of Marawi’s 200,000 residents have fled, there were a number who remained trapped by the fighting. On Thursday, soldiers rescued 16 civilians in Barangay Kilala.

Soldiers rush into the front yard of a house to seek cover from snipers and regroup before resuming clearing operations. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)
A soldier takes aim at an enemy position. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)
A squad of soldiers rushes down a street while another prepares to move out behind the cover of an APC. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)
A squad moves out behind the cover of an APC. (Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon)
Soldiers scan the rooftops for snipers as an APC clears the way ahead for their advance. (Erwin Mascarinas)