MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 04 August) — The Task Force Builder continues to search for 46 more unexploded ordnance still buried deep in different sectors in Ground Zero or the Most Affected Area (MAA) two years after the Marawi siege.
In March the number of unexploded ordnance was 49. Housing Secretary and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chair Eduardo del Rosario had said this consisted of 100 to 500 pounder bombs.
On August 3 at around 11 a.m., assorted surface bombs like 105 projectiles, M203 grenade launcher ammunitions, homemade bombs, 260 pounds and 110 pounds from the Philippine Air Force fighter planes were detonated in Ground Zero.
“The search will continue in coordination with Eddmarri Construction and the military while the debris clearing operation is going on,” TFB commander Col. Rene Sebastian said.
“The recovered UXO were fired from ISIS-Maute terrorists group and some from the military and Philippine Air Force dropped during the battle airstrike,” he said.
Sebastian said displaced Marawi residents from Sector 1 of Ground Zero or the Most Affected Area (MAA) are now allowed to visit what remains of their former residences as the area has been cleared. In the other sectors, debris clearing and the search for more UXOs are still ongoing, he said.
But Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Jr., TFBM Field Officer Manager, reiterated the policy that only those who have permits secured from the city government of Marawi are allowed to visit their respective places inside Sector 1.
Lt. Col. Elmer Oamil, 553rd Engineering Battalion commander, said they ensured the safety of civilians passing through the MAA and the outside area. He said the scheduled detonation was announced days before to prevent panic. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)