MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) – Mahid Radia’s last glimpse of his parents was when he and his children were fleeing their home amid gunfire, explosions and the howl of airplanes bombing the dens of extremists who had taken over Marawi, the Philippines’ only Islamic city.
The military prevailed over Islamic State-inspired rebels in the country’s biggest and longest battle since World War Two. One year since the fighting began, there is peace in Marawi, but little else.
Radia’s lakeside home is a pile of rubble, like scores of others in the former war zone. His mother and father are still missing, and he yearns for closure.
“Our parents decided to stay home in the belief the fighting would end in days,” said Radia, 31, the eldest of 11 siblings.