Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Priest among hostages of extremists in the Philippines ‎

Priest among hostages of extremists in the Philippines ‎

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that as of 10 p.m. local time, Duterte had declared martial law for all of Mindanao, the southern island where both Marawi City and Davao - the president's home city - reside.

Cayetano said he would stay behind in Moscow, where a number of agreements are to be signed between the governments.

Martial law applies for an initial 60 days under the constitution, but that could be shortened or lengthened depending on security considerations, Alvarez said.

The militants called for reinforcements from an allied group, the Maute, and some 50 gunmen managed to enter the city of Marawi.

He added that the group burned several facilities such as the St. Mary's Church, the City Jail, the Ninoy Aquino School, and the Dansalan College.

Speaking to reporters after returning to Manila from a visit to Moscow, Duterte repeated that he will deal with militants "harshly" after declaring martial law in the southern Mindanao region, home to a decadeslong Muslim separatist rebellion. "I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere". "We are the least of your worries", Duterte said.

"Just show your ID or your licence, specially your licence". "This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation".

"But be sure it is licensed in your name". "Come see me before November, you are invited anytime", Trump said. If there's an open defiance you will die and if it means many people dying, so be it. "That's how it is".

Thousands of people were fleeing the city Thursday, jamming their belongings into cars.

"I think we had a previous president who did not understand that, but I understand that and we have spoken about this before", Trump added, while referring to former US President Barack Obama.

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He said he knew the man from the neighbourhood and the mosque but "in the last 15 years, I haven't seen him in trouble at all". Other public events have been cancelled in London in the wake of the bombing. "This is not us", he said.

Rappler sources said they left the hospital late evening on Tuesday as clashes with the military raged.

Arevalo said troops had cleared militants from a hospital, the city hall and Mindanao State University.

Duterte's martial law declaration will help government forces carry out searches and arrests and detain rebel suspects more quickly, Lorenzana said. Military intelligence said the Maute brothers also had links to two of the region's most unsafe militants - Indonesian Ustadz Sanusi and Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan. He was furious militants had hoisted the IS flag in Marawi. "I can not gamble with IS because they are everywhere".

He said if necessary he would keep it that way for a year, while assuring that there will be no abuses under martial rule.

"They want a ceasefire and for the military to give them access out of Marawi".

The military has not explained how the raid on an apartment hideout went so badly wrong.

Hapilon, the man whom Philippine soldiers had sought at the start of the operation, "allegedly served as deputy or second in command for the foreign terrorist organization, Abu Sayyaf Group", according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Maute and Abu Sayyaf have proved fierce opponents of the military. They allowed many civilians to leave, although they had taken a Catholic priest hostage.

"The city is still under the control of the armed group".

MANILA-As government forces conduct operations to dislodge Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) announced its willingness to provide relief aid and services to communities affected by the fighting.

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