MANILA, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Philippine security forces have failed to meet its announced Sept. 30 deadline to retake the southern city of Marawi from the pro-Islamic State (IS) fighters that laid siege to the city more than four months ago, an Army commander said on Sunday.
Army Col. Romeo Brawner, the deputy commander of the military's joint task force in Marawi, said fighting between the troops and some 50 Maute militants continue to rage on Sunday, saying the remaining IS fighters continued to put up a stiff resistance.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte predicted last Sept. 19 that the battle to recapture the city will be completed by Sept. 30.
Duterte's Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed optimism last week that the war would likely end on Sunday.
In fact, both Duterte and Lorenzana said that military troops have started clearing up some parts of the city, indicating that the conflict is ending soon.
But Brawner said the military could not say when the war will be over. "(The fighting is) still ongoing. Definitely, it's not going to end today," he said.
The conflict has destroyed many of the city's infrastructures.