(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
The Philippines announced on Monday the end to five months of military operations in a southern city held by pro-Islamic State rebels, after a fierce and unfamiliar urban war that has marked the country's biggest security crisis in years.
Offensive combat operations were terminated after troops prevailed in what was the last stand against rebel gunmen who clung on inside several buildings in the heart of Marawi, and refused to surrender.
The bodies of 40 of those fighters and two of their wives were found on Monday in two buildings and a mosque in the battle zone. Artillery and automatic gunfire were still heard on Monday and Reuters journalists saw flames behind a mosque.