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MANILA Authentic Martin Jones Jersey , Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The more than four-month battle to retake the southern Philippine city of Marawi from pro-Islamic State extremists may end this weekend, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.

Citing the assessment of military ground commanders, Lorenzana told reporters at the House of Representatives that he is confident that the troops will completely gain control of the city by Sept. 30.

"Our military commanders on the ground said that they will end the conflict before the end of this month Authentic Joonas Donskoi Jersey , so they have three days to do the job," Lorenzana said.

"I'm very confident, I'm very confident with the abilities of our soldiers to do their job."

The military has been battling the pro-Islamic State Maute group since May 23 Authentic Joe Pavelski Jersey , when the militants occupied a large part of the city. The war has continued and dragged on for 129 days, killing nearly 700 militants and more than 150 government security forces.

"We don't have the exact number of terrorists but I was told that they are no less than 100 so it could range from 10 to 99. The area that they control is also getting smaller. About a week ago it was estimated 10 hectares, maybe now it's down to a couple of hectares Cheap Mikkel Boedker Jersey ," Lorenzana said.

However, Lorenzana lamented that the government continues to suffer casualties in the ongoing offensive to recapture the city.

"We are still incurring some casualties. Yesterday, we lost one soldier and 15 others wounded. But they continue to fight despite the difficulties."

Lorenzana also said that efforts to rehabilitate the ruined city can start "any time now".

"The equipment of the DPWH ( the Department of Public Works and Highways) and the engineers are already on the ground Cheap Tim Heed Jersey , clearing the debris on the road. So, the clearing already starts," he said.

"The next step will be the PCNA Cheap Melker Karlsson Jersey , or the post-conflict needs assessment so that we will determine whether that damaged house, for instance, will be repaired or demolished. That will start on Oct. 1. It will take them one or two weeks. After that we will have a good idea of how much we need to rehabilitate Marawi and how long Cheap Kevin Labanc Jersey ," he said.

TV footages and images have revealed the huge destruction in Marawi. Large swaths of the city, especially in the central business district, are a pock-marked moonscape of damaged and collapsed buildings Cheap Justin Braun Jersey , shops and houses.

Indeed, the offensive to retake Marawi from IS militants has damaged thousands of structures in the country's only Islamic city and has also displaced thousands.

Many of the affected residents who fled the city in May are still living in evacuation centers or in the houses of their relatives in nearby provinces.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Brazil international striker Gabriel Barbosa has insisted that his 29.5 million-euro move to Inter Milan was not motivated by money.

Gabriel made his last appearance for Brazil's Santos on Sunday but could not help his team stumble to a 1-0 loss to Figueirense in Brazil's Serie A.

"I'm not going for money, or because Santos pressured me," Gabriel told reporters. "I'm going because that's what I want. It's good money but it's a huge challenge."

The 19-year-old agreed to terms with Inter last week as the Italian giants beat off interest from Juventus, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Gabriel will reportedly earn more than 300,000 US dollars a month, around double the figure he earned with Santos.

"I scored a lot of goals, won titles and now it's time to move on. It's not a matter of money, but of recognition," he said.

Gabriel is seen as one of Brazil most promising strikers, having scored 57 goals in 155 matches since making his first-team debut for Santos in 2013. He has been capped four times for Brazil, scoring twice.

The forward was also part of Brazil's gold medal-winning Olympic football team in Rio earlier this month.

He is due to arrive at the San Siro next mont after playing for Brazil in their World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia.

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