KULAI: Malaysia’s first phase of humanitarian assistance to Marawi, Philippines – comprising 16 tonnes of food and medicine – was delivered yesterday via the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) new Airbus A400M aircraft.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the second phase of assistance will include a medical team from the armed forces, members of the armed forces’ religious corps (Kagat), and efforts to set up water purification systems for the besieged residents.
“On July 21, Malaysia sent 16 tonnes of supplies of medicine and food, and this was a prelude to another mission in which a forward medical team will be sent and a water purification system will be installed.
“The armed forces’ religious corps will also be mobilised, as those affected by the conflict may also be experiencing (psychological and emotional) effects of the attacks by militants who intend to win the hearts and minds of the people of Marawi,” said Hishammuddin after opening the Kulai Umno division delegates meeting at Dewan Raya Bandar Putra here today.
Hundreds of militants flying the Islamic State (IS) flag, backed by foreign fighters, seized parts of Marawi on Mindanao island two months ago.
In May, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law across Mindanao to quell what he said was a rebellion aimed at establishing an IS province in the area.
Philippine government troops launched an air and ground offensive against the militants, which forced 200,000 civilians to flee the city.