Gunfire mars 4-hour humanitarian cease-fire in Marawi; 2 soldiers injured

It was not clear who was firing. "It's very painful. It's very sad to be hitting our own troops", said defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana, adding, "But sometimes, it happens in the fog of war". Troops have battled to regain control of most of the lakeside city, but the militants are still holding out in pockets.

He said the Maute group, which was inspired by the Islamic State, is not asking for anything except the peaceful departure of the government troops from the besieged city, the National Catholic Register details.The vast majority of Filipinos are Christian, but Mindanao has a larger proportion of Muslims and Islam is followed by the vast majority in Marawi City."I cannot now tell you how many days more, but we are going to finish this as soon as possible", Lorenzana said.The Malaysians reportedly arrived in Marawi City days before the fighting broke out, suggesting that the Maute and Southeast Asian jihadists were gearing up for a showdown with the Philippine government, with Marawi City as the scene and their object of conquest.

The Philippine government has rejected the demand. The Philippine official added that the foreign fighters used "back channels" in the Sulu and Celebes Seas near the borders of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia to enter the southern island of Mindanao and link up with local terror groups.

"With the amount of material that has been coming out and being recovered [from] the areas of conflict, there could be, in this collection of documents and other materials, proof that would indicate the existence of these foreign fighters", he said.

Mr Adiong said. "There are 2,000 people who need immediate help (after) 13 days without food".

"The revelations of the Indonesian Defense Minister is something that came as a surprise to us because as was mentioned by senior defense officials, in truth, we don't have those numbers", he said.

The President said he sees no problem if thousands of MNLF fighters will serve as "integrees", bandits who will be enlisted to the AFP. Police and fire services could not immediately be reached for comment.

The militants have murdered 19 civilians, the military has said, while insisting none has died in any air assaults or the intense street-to-street battles.

An early morning attack today (June 2) that killed 36 at Manila World Resort casino in northern Philippines is not considered a terrorist attack, Philippine police told the Associated Press.

Hapilon is the emir or leader of the Islamic State forces in the Philippines. He is on the U.S. government's list of most-wanted terrorists. Marawi is a densely populated city of 200,000 on the island of Mindanao, home to much of the nation's Muslim majority.

He said part of the rescue operations are the risk of being hit by the Maute snipers, similar to the fate of the local resident who was shot while about to approach the rescuing troopers.

A separatist rebellion in the southern Philippines has killed more than 120,000 people since the 1970s.

Cadres of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the predominantly Maranao main Muslim rebel group that in 2014 forged a peace accord with the government, organized Sunday's cease-fire, which was to run from 8 am until noon.

But small hardline groups, including the Maute and Abu Sayyaf, have refused to negotiate and sought to united behind IS.

  • Leroy Wright