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Pacquiao visits Philippine troops fighting the Islamic State

Pacquiao visits Philippine troops fighting the Islamic State

Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao visited his country’s troops in Marawi, on the island of Mindanao, who have been fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants for more than two months.

The Filipino boxer and senator, dressed in a military uniform, joked about joining the fight in Marawi.

You are the real heroes, not Manny Pacquiao. I am only a boxer but you give your life for your country, “he said.

“I hope to come back here and greet you again when the fight is over and if it is not over when I return, then I will join you,” said Pacquiao, while shots and explosions were heard outside the military camp.

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The battle in the Mindanao region has killed 630 people, including 471 IS militants, 45 civilians and 114 soldiers, according to Philippine troops.

Pacquiao, a lieutenant colonel in the military reserve in recognition of his accomplishments in boxing, is a hero to the Filipino people.

He emerged from poverty to become a world boxing champion in eight categories and a millionaire.

In his last fight, the 38-year-old Pacquiao lost to Australian Jeff Horn, who snatched the welterweight belt from the World Boxing Organization (WBO). AFP

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