Elite Rangers captain killed as battle for Marawi rages on

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Filipino Colonel Romeo Brawner gives Day 112 updates on the battle for Marawi City, Mindanao. Video: Rappler

By Carmela Fonbuena in Marawi City, Philippines

A captain of the elite Philippine Army Scout Rangers force was killed as he led his men in a major operation in Marawi City at the weekend.

Captain Rommel Sandoval, commander of the 11th Scout Ranger Company, was shot on Sunday as he was trying to rescue one of his men while they were conducting an operation to clear a multiple-storey building in the battle area of the three-month-old siege.

President Rodrigo Duterte paid his last respects to the fallen soldier yesterday at Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro before the remains of Sandoval and another soldier also killed on Sunday were transported to Manila.

Duterte later proceeded to Marawi City for his fourth visit since the clashes with local terrorists erupted on May 23.

READ MORE: Terror in Mindanao – The Mautes of Marawi

-Partners-

Sandoval, a junior officer, led his men in the assault as the military pushed to liberate Marawi City.

The structure that the military asked the media not to identify served as one of the remaining strongholds of the local terrorists linked to the international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS).

Sandoval led one of the companies of the Army elite unit that has been among the primary forces deployed in the war.

He celebrated his birthday inside the battle zone last month.

Sandoval belonged to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2005.

Carmela Fonbuena is a journalist with the Rappler multimedia and citizen journalist website and has been covering the conflict since it started.

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