Australian journalist shot in war-torn Philippine city

Duterte takes a rest as Philippine city burns

Duterte takes a rest as Philippine city burns

USA special forces are now on the ground in Marawi but their role is limited to assisting with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, not fighting, a Philippine military official told Reuters. "Bullet is still in my neck, but it missed everything important", he said in another Twitter post.

Speaking to troops in Butuan City in the southern Philippines, Duterte said the Maute militants managed to secretly slipped into Marawi City a huge cache of ammunition and high-powered firearms before they launched the attack on May 23.

ABC journalist Adam Harvey wears a neck brace as he is about to ride an ambulance at the Lanao Del Sur Provincial Capitol in Marawi, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao yesterday.

Philippine National Police Chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday meanwhile told reporters that Duterte warning to pull out troops could be just "an act of frustration".

In late May, fighters from Maute as well as local network Abu Sayyaf took control of Marawi - a Muslim-majority city with a population of 200,000 located on the island of Mindanao - and more than 300 are believed to be dead as Philippine troops try to retake the city, according to local media.

The attempt by hundreds of well-armed militants to overrun and seal off the city has alarmed governments across Southeast Asia, which fear that Islamic State - losing ground in Iraq and Syria - is trying to establish a foothold in their region that could bring a rash of extremist violence.

Hishammuddin also stressed that Malaysia is fortunate to be able to go through Ramadan peacefully, pointing out that recent terrorist threats occurred in neighbouring Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The city itself has also been pounded by airstrikes.

"Enemy resistance continues to dwindle and enemy-held areas continues to get smaller as troops advance", it said, but giving no indication of how long it might take to retake the town.

"The AFP will always guarantee the safety of each citizen who are doing the right things and not the wrong things and not breaking the law", Padilla added.

The official, however, said there were tell-tale signs of trouble brewing in the East Asian country since February-March this year when it was informed of the militant outfit's plan to lay siege in the predominantly Catholic nation.

"In a battle the most important item for the commander is to be able to determine what is happening", Padilla said as he confirmed that men in civilian clothes caught by a television camera flying drones from a pickup truck were USA troops.

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