Philippines: Troops raise national flag for Independence Day on Monday amid war to evict Islamist militants

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© AFP | Thousands of Philippine soldiers, advised by US Special Forces, are locked in fierce combat with hundreds of insurgents who overran Marawi city on May 23

MARAWI (PHILIPPINES) (AFP) – Embattled Philippine troops struggling to force out Islamist militants from a southern city raised the national flag for Independence Day on Monday, in a tearful ceremony dedicated to the scores killed during the conflict.

Thousands of Philippine soldiers, advised by US Special Forces, are locked in fierce combat with hundreds of insurgents who overran Marawi city on May 23, flying black flags of the Islamic State (IS) group and using up to 2,000 civilians as human shields.

As gunfire rang out and planes flew bombing raids to pummel districts of the largely-abandoned city, a crowd of soldiers and officials gathered outside a nearby government building to raise the Philippine flag.

“This is dedicated to soldiers who offered their…

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