WATCH | Marawi slowly shifts toward difficult clean-up, rebuilding phase

3534

The difficult task of rebuilding their lives, after being rudely displaced by nearly six months of fighting, stares not just the local Maranao community but all of the folk who have started to trickle back to the Islamic City of Marawi.

The smoke and the dust may have begun to settle somewhat, but life remains a rattled, shaken sad state of disrepair.

All but ruined by the armed standoff between liberating government security forces and the terrorist elements of the Islamic State-aligned Maute Group, Marawi stands now but as broken shellshocked piles of debris, burned-down edifices and homes and memories blasted to smithereens or pockmarked by bullet, rifle grenade and mortar hits.

Where does one begin to rebuild? Complete tranquility remains elusive as angry exchanges of fire still punctuate the mopping up and clearing operations against the handful of terrorist holdouts.

Security forces advance deliberately, careful about clearing enclave after enclave of possible booby traps and improvised explosives.

The district of Saduk proper has suffered grievously, because this was one of the staging spots of the Maute Group near the strategic bridge with access to the Agus River.

Returning residents have to put up with screening and profiling procedures as a precaution against re-infiltration by the outlaws.

Even so, there is an overriding sense of hope that commerce and business establishments will soon reopen, and life may at last begin to return to normal after the nightmare that was the Battle of Marawi.