For The New Humanitarian: 


On 23 May 2017, militants aligned with the so-called Islamic State barricaded themselves into Marawi City on the Philippine island of Mindanao, beginning a five-month siege. 


As the army bombarded Marawi with airstrikes to root out the militants, more than 353,000 people were driven out of the city and surrounding areas. More than 1,000 people were killed. The government says only a few dozen civilians were among the dead. Local NGOs say many more civilians are missing and unaccounted for. 


A year on, the city still lies in ruins, some 237,000 people remain displaced, and frustration is growing at the slow pace of the rebuild. Thousands still live in evacuation centres and depend on insufficient food and water supplies. Most are bunkered down with extended family outside the city, where they have no access to aid or jobs. Local advocates accuse the government of not doing enough to get people back on their feet and earning a living. And the threat of militancy and extremism still lingers in Mindanao. 

Smoke rises from Marawi City as Philippine Armed Forces battle ISIS-aligned militants.

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Philippine Armed Forces stand at a checkpoint dividing the urban fighting line in Marawi City. 

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An empty prayer room at Mindanao State University in predominantly Muslim Marawi City. / A rosary of a Philippine soldier dangles from his uniform. 

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ABC Journalist and Australian national Adam Harvey recovers after being shot in the neck while covering the battle for Marawi City. 

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An internally displaced Filipino man shows off his wounds suffered in the initial siege of Marawi by ISIS aligned militants.

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The Dilna family returns for "Kambasita" where those living in the most affected area of the battlefield were allowed to return and gather any belongings before their homes were deemed uninhabitable and to be leveled. 

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Former citizens of Marawi City gather scrap metal to sell and gather what few belongings remain after months of fighting that destroyed their city. 

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The Dilna family looks at their home for the first time in months since the Philippine government was able to wrest control of Marawi City from Islamist militants. 

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Ameerah Dilna carefully climbs down the stairs into what was once her living room before militants seized the city, using her home and others as a base to stage attacks against Philippine security forces. 

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The Dilna family rummages through whats left of their home during "Kambasita" a Maranao word that means "visit." 

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Ameerah Diana looks through the blasted wall of her home which was destroyed after months of heavy battles in the city. 

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Former citizens of Marawi take in the destruction of their homes and businesses during "Kambasita." 

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The comfort of neighbors is the only thing these former residents of Marawi have left. 

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