Philippines army battles IS-linked group in southern city

"There are also Malaysians, Singaporeans and in the fight that has been ongoing in Marawi, we are continuously verifying that there have been a number of them who have been killed", Padilla said in a joint press briefing with presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella and Solicitor General Jose Calida in Davao City yesterday.

Calida said Islamic State had declared that Hapilon was "their emir, or leader in the Philippines". Army tanks packed with soldiers rolled into t.

Displaced residents of Marawi city sleep on corrugated boxes at an evacuation center in Saguiaran township, near the besieged city of Marawi, Lanao del Sur province Sunday, May 28, 2017 in southern Philippines.

Military vehicles move between vehicles of residents fleeing Marawi.

Female Daesh terrorists are fighting against Philippine army that is now using its air force to target Daesh terrorists.

MARAWI, Philippines (AP) - Philippine fighter aircraft unleashed rocket fire against militants on Saturday, prompting villagers to hoist white flags to avoid being targeted as the military turned to airstrikes to try to end the siege of a southern city by Islamic State group-allied militants.

The city of Marawi, home to some 200,000 people, has been under siege by IS-linked militants since a failed raid Tuesday night on a suspected hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, who is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists.

At least 11 soldiers and 31 militants had been killed, a military spokesman said.

It was unclear whether those eight were included in the military's count of civilian deaths.

He said these groups, referring to the notorious local Maute Group, are trying to ally with the "Daesh", the Arabic word for ISIS, and are "feverishly wanting to comply with requirements that have been set for them", mainly involving violent activities. "I could tell because they wore black headbands with the [IS] signs", said one man fleeing Marawi by foot.

He gave his troops a free hand to wrest control of Marawi. "You can arrest any person, search any house without warrant", he said.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, giving a pep talk to his troops in the country's restive south, exhorted the soldiers to go all out in fighting Islamic militants, but he said he's willing to sit down with his enemies and talk peace.

"To those terrorists whom you can not be stop fighting, so be it", the President said.

Duterte, accompanied by top cabinet officials, arrived in Iligan City today to visit the wounded government troops and the evacuees who sought refuge in the city.

"They have been sending us text messages, calling our hotline, requesting us to send rescue teams but we can not simply go to areas which are inaccessible to us", Adiong told AFP. Hapilon has also suffered a mild stroke, he said.

MANILA -"Never again", some people, including millennials, said when they learned about President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao. "They want to create Mindanao as part of the caliphate", he said. "We have to finish this". "It has transformed into an invasion of foreign fighters". "As Muslims, we accept all the trials with patience and we don't blame anyone for our situation today", he said.

Much of Marawi was still a no-go zone.

In a sign of the confusion over events inside the city, a local police chief told The Associated Press on Friday that he was alive and well-two days after President Duterte told the media he had been beheaded by militants.

According to Mr Enriquez, the former chief was shot dead in a clash with the extremists on Tuesday outside a Marawi hospital. Enriquez has been in the job for about two months.

  • Leroy Wright