Philippine assault site yields 22 dead

MARAWI, Philippines — Filipino troops have recovered 22 bodies of suspected Muslim extremists and dozens of homemade bombs from two buildings that were retaken in one of the final government assaults to end an Islamic State militant group-inspired siege in southern Marawi city, the military said Wednesday.

The discovery of the bodies brought the death toll in the siege, which began May 23, to more than a thousand people, including 802 militants. The fighting has left 160 soldiers and policemen and 47 civilians dead, according to the military.

Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla said troops overcame days of militant sniper and grenade fire before they took back control of the buildings Tuesday and found the bodies, along with eight rifles and “dozens and dozens of improvised explosive devices.”

He said the military was trying to retake control of the last district of about 150 buildings and houses held by about 40 gunmen with about 42 hostages. Top generals have estimated that the siege could be crushed within a week or two but Padilla refused to set a date.

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