The Philippine military said on Monday that it will soon retake the southern city of Marawi, which is currently held by Islamist militants and home to about 200,000 people. “Our ground commanders have assured that the end is almost there,” military spokesman Restituto Padilla told reporters. “We're trying to isolate all these pockets of resistance.” The extremists, called the Maute, have become the largest reported security challenge in the country since Rodrigo Duterte took the presidency nearly one year ago, Reuters reports. Padilla also told reporters that the rebels are likely receiving help from “sympathetic elements,” including fighters who were recently freed from jail.
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