Philippines’ Duterte says city ‘liberated’ after siege

Smoke billows from destroyed buildings after government troops fired mortars at a Daesh position in Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao on Oct. 15, 2017. (AFP/Ferdinandh Cabrera)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Philippines’ Duterte says city ‘liberated’ after siege

MARAWI, Philippines: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared a southern city “liberated from terrorists” after a five-month battle against militants loyal to the Daesh group.
Duterte made the declaration in a rain-soaked speech to troops in Marawi where they have been fighting the militants in clashes that have claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced 400,000 people.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi liberated from the terrorists,” Duterte said, speaking moments just after explosions and gunfire were heard in the city.
Duterte’s announcement came just hours after the military said it was still hunting down 20 to 30 fighters in the battle zone, including Malaysian militant leader Mahmud Ahmad.
On Monday, the military claimed a major breakthrough when it announced the death of Isnilon Hapilon, said by Duterte and security analysts to be the leader of an IS bid to declare a Southeast Asian caliphate as they suffer battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria.


Sarajevo eager to see stronger ties with Riyadh, Bosnian House speaker tells Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan

SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman meets students at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Sarajevo. (SPA)
Updated 15 min 37 sec ago
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Sarajevo eager to see stronger ties with Riyadh, Bosnian House speaker tells Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan

  • Prince Sultan bin Salman met Speaker Safet Softic in Sarajevo on Thursday to discuss further co-operation between their countries

The president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), Prince Sultan bin Salman, met the speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo to discuss further co-operation between the nations.

The meeting came on the sidelines of Prince Sultan’s official visit to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia’s speaker of the House of Peoples, Safet Softic, said: “The visit of a senior Saudi official to Bosnia is a sign that communication between the two countries is constantly growing and improving.”

Softic was eager to see economic relations between Bosnia and the Kingdom become as strong as political and humanitarian relations between them.

Prince Sultan said: “It is our religious and humanitarian duty to support Bosnia, and King Salman has given special attention to Bosnia’s cause since the war started in the days of the late King Fahd and until justice was achieved and the war ended with Saudi Arabia’s support.”

The SCTH chief explained that Saudi Arabia is investing in Bosnia’s future as a country located in the heart of Europe with a future in the European market.

Prince Sultan also visited the King Fahd Cultural Center in Sarajevo. He praised the center, saying it is one of the largest and most important support projects provided by the Kingdom to Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

King Salman “attended the opening ceremony of the center,” said Prince Sultan, who was accompanied by the Saudi ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The center should be a cultural addition to the culture prevailing here.”