Filipino authorities say foreigners are among Islamist fighters on Mindanao island

Up to 90 percent of Marawi's population of 200,000 has fled, while those left in the city wave white flags to signal they are not militants.

"My order to the troops is all people who are not authorised by government to carry arms and they resist, kill them, wipe them out", he said of the rebels. Their condition remains unknown.

"These are civilians, women".

The source that spoke to the Wall Street Journal said while the authorities had long known foreign fighters were on the side of militant groups in lawless parts of Mindanao, this attack is an escalation of a fragile situation.

Duterte recently claimed that ISIS fighters forced out of the Middle East would end up "contaminating" the Philippines although he also claimed he was open to talking to the militants.

Thirteen soldiers, two policemen and 51 militants have died in the fighting, according to authorities. There were no reports of civilians among the dead.

Extremist insurgents from Maute group have since engaged government forces in firefights causing residents to flee.

Duterte gave his troops a free hand to wrest control of Marawi.

During an address to soldiers on the island of Mindanao, where Duterte imposed martial law in an attempt to crush Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf militants, the president said, "If you go down, I go down".

Then-Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was running against Duterte in the election, said the comments about Hamill were "simply revolting".

Hapilon was the target of Tuesday's botched raid and Duterte said ISIS in the Middle East had anointed him as its man in the Philippines, and Hapilon was revered as its leader.

"We once more call on the people in the community to join us fight terrorism".

(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez). A displaced Marawi city resident receives food packs and sleeping mats from the International Committee of the Red Cross at an evacuation center in Saguiaran township near the besieged city of Marawi, Lanao del Sur province S. "I'm just praying that the bullets will not find their way to my house and hit us".

Padilla said the ongoing military air strikes and military actions focus on freeing a still undetermined number of civilians trapped in the city's interiors. Buildings were burned, prison inmates freed and hostages taken as the militants battled troops across the city.

"If they want to talk, I will be most thankful to Allah that we talk about peace", Duterte said Friday in a visit to Iligan City in the country's Mindanao region. "We have to finish this".

In a sign that the long-standing problem of militancy in the south could be expanding, Solicitor General Jose Calida said foreigners, including Indonesians and Malaysians, were fighting alongside the gunmen in Marawi.

Gen Ano also said foreign fighters are believed to be inside, but he was more cautious. "We suspect that but we're still validating", he said.

Much of Marawi remains a no-go zone, but disturbing details have emerged.

Malabang Police Chief Romeo Enriquez told The Associated on Friday that he is fine.

Duterte and military chiefs have said most of the militants belong to the local Maute group, which they estimate has about 260 armed followers and has declared allegiance to Isis.

Government soldiers guard a road in the residential neighbourhood of Marawi City as fighting rages between government soldiers and the Maute militant group, in southern Philippines May 27, 2017.

  • Leroy Wright