Military making gains against militants in Philippines siege city

  • Military making gains against militants in Philippines siege city

Military making gains against militants in Philippines siege city

The fighting erupted on Tuesday when dozens of gunmen went on a rampage throughout Marawi in response to an attempt by security forces to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, a veteran Filipino militant regarded as the local leader of IS.

The government responded by announcing that it was withdrawing from the next round of peace talks.

It said extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems - including airlines - and other public venues where large crowds gather such as crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses, and popular restaurants.

The warning came as police in Metro Manila were placed on full alert status in line with the martial law declared in Mindanao following clashes between government troops and terrorists Abu Sayyaf and Maute Group.

The Maute fighters quickly took over much of the city, torching a cathedral and hospital, among other buildings, and posting snipers to keep government troops at bay.

Authorities said on Sunday that 2000 civilians remained trapped in the city that was home to 200,000, as the military intensified air strikes to drive out heavily armed militants from the little known but brutal Maute group.

"They want to leave. They're getting caught in the conflict, and I hope this ends soon".

Hapilon is still hiding out in the city under the protection of gunmen who are desperately trying to find a way to extricate him, said the Philippines' military chief, Gen. Eduardo Ano.

Meanwhile, 2,000 civilians were trapped yesterday in Marawi, AFP reported. The 11th man who tried to escape drowned while crossing a river.

Now, she says, they have formed a coalition against a common enemy. They also learned that a priest and some women were also held hostage at the same building.

All of the groups are inspired by IS, and d efence secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that Hapilon has received funds from the group.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, AFP spokesman Brig.

"So if it calls for a surgical airstrike of some sort then we will try to make sure that we only aim for that particular point of resistance and nothing else. Our ground commanders have assured that the end is nearly there".

"It is not true that half of the city is controlled by the rebels".

"Their refusal to surrender is holding the city captive", it said.

Despite concerns levied by political opponents of Duterte and the rapidly developing situation in the southern region of his nation, the Philippine President demonstrated an objectively inappropriate level of joviality when taking questions from the media on Friday.

At least 61 militants and 13 military personnel were killed as of Saturday, according to the army.

The discovery confirms days of speculation that Maute rebels had killed civilians during a takeover of Marawi, that the military believes is aimed at winning the Maute recognition from the Islamic State as a Southeast Asian affiliate.

Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert at Singapore's S. Rarajatnam School of International Studies, believes that IS and the smaller regional groups are working together to show their strength and declare a Philippine province of the caliphate that IS says it created in the Middle East.

Most of the city's residents have been displaced because of the firefight while the military dropped bombs over residential areas where the Islamist terror group was reportedly seeking refuge.

"It is inhumane and morally unacceptable to use children in armed combat roles, and expose them to extreme violence", the senator said.

"In what was intended as a joke, Duterte said the victim was "beautiful" and as mayor of Davao city where the riot took place, he should have been first in line".