Air strikes, artillery fires mark the start of Ramadan
MARAWI CITY ? A military onslaught marked the start of Muslims’ annual month-long holiday as authorities battle to regain control of this city from the ISIS-linked Maute militants for the fourth day.
But it did not prevent people from holding their first prayer for the month-long fasting.
AFP Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, told reporters the military is on the offensive and assured people they will try their best to clear the city soonest.
“ I am asking for understand from our brother Muslims because this is the day of Ramadan. We did not wish this to happen. This is a sudden encounter and we did not they wanted to burn down Marawi City,” said Galvez.
“Isnilon Hapilon (the Abu Sayaff leader) is the subject of our operation. We are now controlling some areas. There are areas that are still under their control. We need to clear that. There are other areas, more or less eight kilometer radius that we cannot enter, added Galvez..
Aminola Mitmug said they prayed Saturday morning while bombs were exploding in nearby villages.
“In the first day of Ramadan, our main problems are water and electricity. But we need to sacrifice. As Muslims, we accept all the trials with patience and we don’t blame anyone for our situation today,” he said.
“Allah will see how will you perform your worship with him despite with trials,” said Mitmug.
At an evacuation camp inside the provincial capitol, Moshmerah Dipatuan, 44, said: “ Our house was burned by Maute men. Now I heard officials are planning to transfer us to another evacuation center in Iligan City.”
” It’s so painful because it seems we are not feeling the spirit of Ramadan. Unlike in previous years, the fasting was festive, particularly at night,.” said Lanao del Sur vice governor Mamintal Adiong Jr.
Adiong said he does now know what the Maute gunmen are fighting for as most of them are young men. DMS