Philippine soldiers wounded in hours-long clash with ISIS-linked fighters

Sources said the presence of the Maute Group was monitored in at least 11 of the total 96 barangays in Marawi namely; Barangays Bangon, Saber, Tuca, Banggolo, Naga, Monkado Colony, Caloocan, Marinaut, Mapandi, Matampay, and Basak Malutlot.

But Duterte has said local criminals are backing the Maute in Marawi. The military said they believed he had was wounded during the latest fighting. "Go for it and you have my full support".

Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, an army spokesman, said the military was acting on information that Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group, was among the militants hiding in the apartment in Marawi City. The clashes between Filipino government troops and the Islamist militants have been deadly. The black flags of the Islamic State group were planted atop buildings and flown from commandeered vehicles, including a government ambulance and an armored auto, said Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., vice governor of Lanao del Sur province, of which Marawi is the capital.

Duterte said martial law would mean checkpoints and arrests and searches without warrant, and it would go on for as long as necessary.

Muslims make up 5 percent of the population of the Philippines and 99 percent of the city of Marawi.

Philippine policemen check the auto boot of a resident fleeing from Marawi city, where gunmen who had declared allegiance to the Islamic State group staged a rampage, May 24, 2017.

"And if ever you're going out, especially the women, the instruction of our Muslim friends is always wear a headscarf or hijab", he also said. And he urged the soldiers to take tough measures, such as arresting anyone or searching any house.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte salutes the honor guards upon arrival from Russian Federation at the Ninoy Aquino International airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines May 24, 2017.

Isnilon was declared as the Emir of the IS forces in the Philippines early previous year but he was reportedly badly injured in an aerial attack on Basilan about two months ago.

"I was angry she was raped, yes that was one thing". He said that as mayor of the town where it happened, he should have been "first in line".

After drawing worldwide condemnation from women, human rights organizations, political critics and celebrities in the Philippines, Duterte issued an apology. "There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this terrible crime", he said.

While pursuing peace talks with two large Muslim rebel groups in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation, Duterte has ordered the military to destroy smaller extremist groups which have tried to align with the Islamic State group. Just do your jobs, I'll take care of the rest.

"What is happening in Mindanao is no longer a rebellion of Filipino citizens", Calida told reporters.

The Maute group has emerged from the glut of bandit and separatist groups in Mindanao.

This is the ace the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is using in a bid to eliminate Maute terrorists from Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur at the fastest possible time and without causing collateral damage to civilians still in the area. But there are fears the expanded powers could further embolden a leader who already has been accused of allowing extrajudicial killings of thousands of people in his crackdown on illegal drugs. "They want to create Mindanao as part of the caliphate", he said.

  • Leroy Wright