Filipino social workers taught evacuees fleeing Marawi how to identify and react to unexploded bombs on Monday (July 3), as fighting between government troops and Islamist militants continue in the besieged city for the 42nd day.
Unexploded Ordinance Risk Facilitator Jhaharah Barrat presented images of grenades, mortar shells and mines to evacuees residing in neighboring Saguiran town, and taught them to immediately report any sighting to authorities.
“Anywhere you go when you go to Marawi… Marawi City is an urban city, so definitely those bombs are just in the buildings, in the streets, or in front and behind houses,” social worker Barrat said.
Barrat said the class will keep evacuees and their children safe once they return to Marawi after the fighting subsides.
“This is where they will know and be aware that they should not go near or move bombs they encounter, and that they should report it to the authorities,” she said.
Saud Lomondot, an evacuee, said that these awareness campaigns should reach the whole province of Lanao del Sur, and not just Marawi City.
“They should teach this not just in Marawi, but also in the entire Lanao Del Sur province because they’re (bombs) dangerous. Dangerous to kids and those who don’t know what kind of bombs are in Marawi,” Lomondot said.
At least 337 militants, 85 security forces and 39 civilians have died in the ongoing siege of Marawi, which has seen daily airstrikes and artillery fire from the military and booby-trapped houses since a raid for a top Islamist leader failed on May 23. (Reuters)