Monday, 17 December, 2018

Philippine priest, churchgoers taken hostage by gunmen

Philippine priest, churchgoers taken hostage by gunmen Philippine priest, churchgoers taken hostage by gunmen
Sandy Vega | 25 May, 2017, 01:48

Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the infamous Abu Sayyaf kidnapping-for-ransom gang who Daesh (the so-called IS) has appointed its Philippine chief, was believed to be among those fighting police and soldiers in Marawi city, regional military spokeswoman Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay said. Ano said almost 50 gunmen in all managed to enter the bustling commercial city of more than 200,000 people. "I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere".

Duterte said he would not tolerate abuses of power by security forces under martial law, but critics said the military rule in all of Mindanao, an island the size of South Korea with a population of 22 million, was an overreaction. If there's an open defiance you will die and if it means many people dying, so be it. And while many people in America, and elsewhere, are focusing on the recent attack on Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert, it's just as important to look at what's going on in the Philippines to see how to get a grasp on what's going on in the world.

De la Pena said the Maute militant allowed him to speak to Suganob to make sure he was clear of their demands.

Villegas says the Maute gunmen are demanding that the government recall its forces, which have since been deployed in Marawi.

"He was not a combatant". He said Marcos' use of martial law was "very good".

"His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilized conflict", Villegas added.

A firefight that started late afternoon on Tuesday ground to a halt before dawn on Wednesday, civilians said, adding they were expecting more clashes later in the day.

About 20 of the gunmen took position in a hospital, where they raised a black Islamic State group-style flag at the gate, and 10 other militants were fighting troops and police near a provincial jail, he said.

State media similarly quoted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as saying the implementation of martial law would be done in accordance with existing laws and respect for human rights.

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The Maute group was formed by the Maute family led by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute, former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The incident highlights the challenges facing Duterte, who has pleaded with separatists and moderate Muslims in the predominantly Catholic nation to shun Abu Sayyaf and Maute.

Troops sealed off major entry and exit points to prevent Hapilon from escaping, Ano told The Associated Press by telephone from Moscow, where he was accompanying Duterte.

"We will conduct house-to-house clearing and do everything to remove the threat there".

The group, which is also known as the Islamic State of Lanao, have reportedly received support from Isis.

The militants continued to occupy some sections of Marawi, an Islamic city in Lanao del Sur, he said.

Duterte is cutting short an official visit to Moscow because of the clashes, PNA reported.

These include the Maute group, which is based near Marawi in central Mindanao.

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