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Philippines forces hit militants; civilians wave white flags

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He said that the military has four injured soldiers.

About 78 civilians held captive by the Maute Group inside the Amai Pakpak Medical Center public hospital in the city of Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines have been rescued.

"The DSWD is ready to provide relief assistance to the people of Marawi and to assist the evacuees in coordination with DSWD-ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)". The exodus of thousands of residents has co.

Carmela Fonbuena files this a video report from Mindanao, Philippines.

Arevalo insisted there is no ISIS in the Philippines.

"The main goal of the offensive is to suppress the lawlessness and to maintain normalcy in Marawi so that our people here, our countrymen, can return, especially by Ramadan".

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said 2 soldiers and one police officer were killed, while 12 others were wounded in ongoing clashes in Marawi City.

"They made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the city will be cleared of the terror threat and immediately restore normalcy in this part of Mindanao", he added.

An enraged Duterte, who was in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, declared martial law shortly after the fighting erupted and cut short his trip to fly home and deal with the crisis. "We will clear the area", Ano said. "I hope that the bombs will not land nearby and harm us". In terms of population density, Marawi City also outranks the following cities and towns of ARMM: • Jolo, 993 population density; • Indanan town in Sulu, 794; • Sibutu town in Tawi-Tawi, 537; and • Maimbung town in Sulu, 489. The food agency's offices in other regions are ready to augment the buffer stocks in Mindanao to meet the residents' requirements during the 60-day implementation of martial law in the area. Hapilon is an Arabic-speaking Islamic preacher who pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.

Security forces in the mostly Christian Philippines have battled Muslim separatists for decades and peace efforts have led to a reduction in clashes with main groups.

Tuesday's raid was aimed at capturing Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf group notorious for piracy, banditry and for kidnapping and beheading Westerners.

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Filipino Catholics pray during a mass for victims of the recent attack in Marawi by Muslim militants linked to the Islamic State group and also for extrajudicial killings inside a church in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, May.

All of the groups are inspired by the Islamic State group, but so far there is no sign of significant, material ties. But he added that the smaller groups "are working to really get that recognition and funds, of course".

The United States considers him to be one of the world's most unsafe terrorists and offers US$5 million (S$6.9 million) for his capture. The operation left 15 militants dead, and the army said Hapilon was seriously wounded in the arm.

The army raided what it believed to be his hideout on Tuesday night in Marawi, but the operation quickly went wrong.

The hostage priest's name is Fr. Teresito "Chito" Suganob, and the Filipino bishops' president, Abp. Socrates Villegas, remarked, "They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled". Once again, Hapilon escaped.

"They want a ceasefire and for the military to give them access out of Marawi".

With much of Marawi a no-go zone, confusion reigned.

As authorities tried to gain more control over the city, disturbing details have emerged.

On Wednesday, Abu Sayyaf stormed the Marawi cathedral and took hostages, including a Catholic priest and worshippers.

The White House condemned the Maute group as "cowardly terrorists" and said in a statement the United States was a proud ally of the Philippines and would continue to support its fight against extremism.

Herrera said only 30 to 40 Maute men remain in Marawi City, although officials earlier said the group is composed of around 100 men.

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