Duterte warns of 'contamination' by Islamic State group

APC Marawi City

Armored troop carriers move into position in tense faceoff with terrorists in Marawi City

Arevalo insisted there is no ISIS in the Philippines.

Arrmanatha further said that the 10 JT members were hosted by an Indonesian citizen identified only as Yusuf, who was married to a local and had lived in Marawi for several years.

On Wednesday as troops tried to fend off Islamist militants who took over large parts of a city, thousands of civilians fled fighting in the Philippines.

These include the Maute group, which is based near Marawi, hundreds of kilometres to the north of the Abu Sayyaf strongholds.

Hapilon gained notoriety beyond the Philippines when he allegedly helped Abu Sayyaf kidnap 20 hostages from a Filipino resort in 2001. The group beheaded a German hostage this year and two Canadians last year. He is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the rampage via its Amaq news agency, and President Rodrigo Duterte defended his decision to declare martial law on Mindanao, the Muslim-majority island where Marawi City is located, to prevent the spread of extremism in the impoverished region.

The government reports that more than 40 people have been killed in the fighting, including more than 30 militants, although official figures in the Philippines are notoriously unreliable.

In an October 2016 report, regional security expert Sidney Jones said the Maute "has the smartest, best-educated and most sophisticated members of all of the pro-ISIS groups in the Philippines".

Its activities are a source of concern for Mindanao native Duterte, who is familiar with separatist unrest but alarmed by the presence of radicals inspired by Islamic State's radical agenda.

At least 44 people have died in the fighting, including 31 militants and 11 soldiers. "It has transmogrified into an invasion by foreign terrorists who heeded the clarion call of ISIS".

"Therefore, both houses of Congress must come together as soon as humanly possible to discuss Proclamation 216 and ensure that the government is using the most proper and effective means to restore peace, order, and security in Marawi City".

"I warned everybody not to force my hand into it", Duterte said on his plane en route to the Philippines.

Army officials said 13 fighters were killed on Thursday by troops backed by rocket-firing helicopters in Marawi city, an important hub for the Islamic faith that now resembles a war zone. He fled to the Philippines after being exposed as an extremist by police in 2014.

Witnesses said gunmen were flying the black flags of IS.

A woman touches an image of Jesus Christ shortly after attending 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 Man.

"As proven under Marcos, waging revolutionary armed resistance is the most effective way of resisting martial law, defending the people's democratic rights and inspiring them to wage ever greater struggles", it said.

(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez). Philippine Armed Forces chief and martial law administrator Gen. Eduardo Ano talks to a soldier who was wounded while fighting Muslim militants who lay siege in Marawi city, during his visit to a hospital in Iligan city in so.

Together, Indonesia and the Philippines have almost 25,000 islands and share a little-patrolled ocean border.

Since the early 2000s, the United States has stationed military advisers in the southern Philippines to aid in the fight against Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic extremists.

Lucman said a management crisis committee has been activated to address the situation.

"As the first president from Mindanao, public expectations have been and continue to be high", Mr Mr Heydarian said.

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