Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Two Malaysian militants killed in Mindanao battle

Two Malaysian militants killed in Mindanao battle

The PPOC, in its emergency meeting presided here Thursday by North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza as council chair, unanimously passed three resolutions, one of which expressed cooperation in the enforcement of the martial law declared by the President on May 23 night shortly after jihadist militants occupied Marawi City that day.

But Ramos is even more concerned over Duterte's pronouncements he would impose a nationwide martial law if terrorist threat reaches other parts of the country. It was not clear whether civilians were among the dead.

Thousands of civilians have been fleeing the city of some 200,000 people.

The Maute rebels' hold of Marawi City and the government's announcement that Indonesians and Malaysians were among the fighters has raised alarm about the prospect of Islamic State's radical ideology gaining traction Southeast Asia.

Still, Padilla said that this does not equate to ISIS presence in the country.

Duterte gave his troops a free hand to wrest control of Marawi. "You can arrest any person, search any house without warrant", said Duterte, who has been criticized for the deaths of thousands of people in a crackdown on illegal drugs.

Duterte is also known for publicly insulting personalities such as the former US President Barack Obama whom he, in September 2016, called "son of a whore" for being reluctant to meet him. "And if you can not be convinced to stop fighting, so be it. Let's just fight". The militants responded to the raid by storming the city, burning down buildings, including a university and Catholic churches, and taking hostages, including a priest.

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A government soldier in an armoured personnel carrier stands on guard at a checkpoint along a main highway in Pantar town, Lanao del Norte, after residents started to evacuate their hometown of Marawi city, southern Philippines May 24, 2017.

Government troops man their position as they continue to battle Muslim militants who lay siege in Marawi city. "If Allah wills it so, then we can not stop it", he said, pointing his finger in the air.

He said militants are trying to find a way to extricate Hapilon. "We were sure they would get to us", he said. "We want to finish this problem as soon as possible".

In Manila, Philippines government's Solicitor General Jose Calida also made a surprise announcement when he said there were Indonesia and Malaysia nationals fighting side by side with the Maute group.

Thirteen soldiers, two policemen and 31 militants have died in the fighting, according to authorities. "We suspect that but we're still validating", he said.

Much of Marawi remains a no-go zone, but disturbing details have emerged.

Malabang Police Chief Romeo Enriquez told The Associated on Friday that he is fine.

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Gunmen began their rampage on the island, flying IS flags after the failed raid.

"Right now, he is still inside (the city)", General Eduardo Ano said.

Galvez also assured the public that the government forces "will exhaust all efforts to crush the remaining Maute members so that the people of Marawi City can go back to their homes the soonest".

He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014.

Soldiers in February distribute wanted flyers for Isnilon Hapilon, who has a U.S. government $5 bounty for his capture.

Philippines' president reassures soldiers who might be accused of committing abuses under Mindanao island martial law.

Armed fighters working with criminals and corrupt politicians is common across Mindanao, where a Muslim separatist rebellion has claimed more than 120,000 lives since the 1970s.

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"We have identified where they are consolidating so we are doing surgical air strikes to destroy the local terrorist group", military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera told the AFP news agency.

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