MARAWI, Philippines: After fleeing for their lives nearly a year ago, some residents of the battle-scarred Philippine city of Marawi were allowed back Sunday for the first time – to dig through the rubble that was once their homes.
Swathes of the southern city were destroyed in five months of house-to-house fighting between troops and jihadists loyal to the Islamic State group that killed nearly 1,200.
The stunned and tearful residents, who once lived in what became the main battle zone, had not been allowed home until now due to fears of unexploded bombs still buried in the ruins.
Authorities finally relented as rebuilding plans are moving forward, which will likely result in many of the worst-hit areas being razed.
On Sunday some 7,000 residents returned, digging charred furniture and broken toys from the rubble left by the battles that broke out in May 2017.
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