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ISIL captured the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines to turn it into a new caliphate of the so-called Islamic State.

It was an audacious move that took the government and military by surprise.

A fierce and deadly war ensued, signalling the group's determination to bring its battle from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Ground and aerial bombardment have left Marawi in ruins. Nearly 1,000 people have been killed; 160 of them soldiers.

As news spread that fighters were beheading civilians and Philippine forces bombed the city, about 300,000 residents fled.

Government officials estimate it will cost more than $1bn to rebuild the city and that it could take years. 

Some locals say that if the government fails to rebuild Marawi, it could become a fertile recruiting ground for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL (also known as ISIS). 

"If the government fails to support us, to rebuild the city, this will produce hundreds of terrorists," says Agakhan Sharief, a local Muslim leader.

101 East joined the Philippines military in their final battle to take back the city.

ALSO READ: 'Mama, I want to go home': ISIL's assault on Marawi

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Source: Al Jazeera