Husband calls for release of Philippine hostages

Duterte has already declared military rule in the southern island of Mindanao following a failed raid by soldiers on Tuesday on a hideout of the Maute militant group, which triggered clashes and chaos across the largely Muslim city of Marawi.

Mr Trump also boasted that the United States has "two nuclear submarines" off the coast of North Korea but said he does not want to use them.

The United States regards Hapilon as one of the world's most risky terrorists, offering a bounty of US$5 million (RM21.5 million) for his capture.

Detailing what happened in Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said at 2 p.m. (Manila time), the joint elements of the Army and the Police were trying to serve a warrant of arrest on Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon in Barangay Basak Malutlut in Marawi City when they were met with firefight by the group of Hapilon.

TRUMP: I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem.

Duterte said he was considering also imposing martial law through the central third of the Philippines known as the Visayas, because this region is very close to Mindanao.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a staunch critic of Duterte's war on drugs, said the "lawlessness" of the government's war on drugs "heightens grave concerns that his declaration of martial law in Mindanao will bring further rampant abuses".

Armed forces spokesman Edgard Arevalo urged the public not to be alarmed and said the Maute group was showing off to ISIS.

"We will have to wait for the report of the President in order for us to exercise our constitutional duty on the matter".

The Philippines was under martial law for a decade under late dictator Ferninand Marcos from the early 1970s.

The statement came a day after firefights between the government and armed men, later identified as the Maute group, erupted in Marawi City.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the militants forced their way into a cathedral in Marawi and seized a priest, 10 worshippers and three church workers.

Jaime Mayormita's wife Wendelyn is among more than a dozen people taken from a cathedral compound in Marawi city.

"We will conduct house-to-house clearing and do everything to remove the threat there".

AFP | President Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a "madman with nuclear weapons" during a telephone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, according to a transcript of the conversation released by U.S. media Tuesday. Trump added that the USA had sent "two nuclear submarines".

"Since they are advocating ISIS ideology they have to show ISIS that they are a force to be reckoned with", he said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

While pursuing peace talks with two large Muslim rebel groups in the south of this predominantly Roman Catholic nation, Duterte has ordered the military to destroy smaller extremist groups which have tried to align with the Islamic State group.

Troops found homemade bombs, grenades, combat uniforms and passports of suspected Indonesian militants in the camp.

  • Leroy Wright