MANILA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited the war-torn Marawi City on Thursday to check on the government security forces fighting to completely liberate the besieged city from militants allied with the Islamic State (IS) group.
Army Lt. Col Jo-Ar Herrera said Duterte dropped by the military camp in the city to show his strong support for the troops.
"The visit shows that the president is very firm in his strong support to the ongoing military operation in the city," Herrera said.
Fighting continues to rage in the city since May 23, which has so far killed 565 people.
"The troops are happy to see their commander-in-chief visit them in the battlefield," Herrera said, adding that the visit boosts the morale of the troops.
Herrera said Duterte brought with him some "goods," including watches, for the troops.
During the visit, Herrera said Duterte also checked on the firearms that the military have seized from the militants.
According to the military, Duterte spent four hours in the camp. The presidential office has yet to issue a statement on Duterte's visit to the war zone.
Duterte has attempted to visit Marawi twice, but bad weather prompted the presidential security men to abort the visit.