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Unexploded ordnance slows rehabilitation of Marawi city

Unexploded ordnance slows rehabilitation of Marawi city

dpa
Manila
Nearly 50 pieces of unexploded ordnance have yet to be recovered from a southern Philippine city that was damaged during a five-month battle with Islamic State-allied militants in 2017, the military said Sunday.
The delay in recovering the 49 explosives has hindered the rehabilitation of Marawi City, 880 kilometres south of Manila, which was devastated by the fighting in 2017, said Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, a military spokesman.
A private firm contracted to aid in the rehabilitation of Marawi City has been helping in the detection and recovery of the unexploded ordnance, Arevalo said. “The ordnance is specifically difficult to retrieve because it’s either buried deep or underneath buildings and collapsed structures,” he added. “It’s not like harvesting sweet potatoes, which you just dig up and pick,” he said. “This requires a tedious process.” “Even if you locate them, you just can’t unearth them. We will still have to observe certain procedures,” he said.
Arevalo said the unexploded ordnance poses a danger not only to the people working on Marawi’s reconstruction, but also to residents, who are still prevented from going inside the former conflict areas.
“We cannot start the construction if [ordnance] is still there,” he said. “We’ve got be very careful. This also translates to the reason why people are prevented from going to the most affected area.”

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