Fresh battle ends bid to free civilians in war-torn Philippine city

Fresh battle ends bid to free civilians in war-torn Philippine cityEfforts to rescue up to 2,000 civilians trapped by fighting between troops and Islamist militants in a southern Philippine city failed Sunday when a proposed truce ended in a hail of gunfire and explosions, authorities and witnesses said. The civilians were pinned down nearly two weeks ago in the centre of Marawi on Mindanao island, where gunmen loyal to the Islamic State group are holding out against a military assault. Local authorities said government officials, working through intermediaries, had reached agreement with the militants to observe a four-hour ceasefire Sunday to let the trapped civilians leave.



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