Philippines says Islamic State controls 20% of besieged city

13-marines-killed-amid-battle-with-militants-laying-siege-to-philippine-city

13-marines-killed-amid-battle-with-militants-laying-siege-to-philippine-city

Fighting continued as of yesterday.

They said the military and the police had committed "wanton disregard of sanctity of domicile, the right against deprivation of property without due process of law, the right to be secure in one's person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures and the privacy of communication and correspondence of innocent civilians".

Since early previous year, dozens of Indonesians and Malaysians have been abducted by armed men linked to the notoriously violent Abu Sayyaf rebel group in the Sulu Sea.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said on June 5 that the militants occupied less than 10 percent of the city, which they had tried to overrun in an attack on May 23.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled, and much of the city centre lies in ruins. Some were shot dead, a few made it alive. Some of the marines perished in a fire ignited by the militants at the height of the fighting, military officials said.

Duterte skipped the Independence Day flag-raising in Manila today as he was "extremely tired" after visiting wounded soldiers from Marawi the previous day, his spokesman said. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on Mindanao on May 23, and the Philippine army has been fighting the militants for nearly three weeks.

The cooperation between the longtime allies in the battle is significant because Duterte, who came to power a year ago, has taken a hostile stance towards Washington and has vowed to eject USA military trainers and advisers from his country.

Some media reports highlighted the absence of the President at a time of serious conflict, but a spokesman said he was exhausted and needed to rest. The government has long had an issue with rebel groups in the area trying to establish a separate Muslim region of the Philippines. "We have asked for the help of Muslim leaders in Marawi, our friends, while the whole Catholic population is gathered in prayer throughout the country". June 12 was a working deadline set by the military.

"My guess is we'll probably just continue to see similar events", he said.

"But I thought that we could not leave them because they could not speak the local dialect. The President has been very supportive and is quite emphatic that the Marawi siege should be totally settled", he added.

It said in a statement on Saturday it was providing Philippine forces with security assistance and training in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The siege, he said, has been doubly painful because it has come during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims around the world fast and stay united.

"The terrorists ran after them and indiscriminately fired at them, killing five of the civilians and taking the remaining eight as hostages", he added.

Abella said the officials were handling the crisis, even as the Russian Federation trip was underway. The celebration has been marred by protest rallies and demonstrations condemning ongoing clashes and martial law in Mindanao.

"Concerns over alleged excesses will be quickly addressed and all abuses will be stopped and punished", he said. Marawi is strategic. It's central to Mindanao.

Smoke billowing from a burning building is seen as government troops continue their assault on insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City.

Almost every day for the past three weeks, the Philippine military has pounded the lakeside town of Marawi with rockets and bombs as it tries to wipe out militants linked to the Islamic State group in some of the fiercest urban combat this volatile region has seen in decades. "Let us unite for peace", he said.

He also praised the attacks in Iran's parliament complex that killed 17 people.

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