Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Hundreds killed in Marawi City

The Trump administration - which has pledged to annihilate the Islamic State wherever it goes - also continues to provide weapons and military equipment to the Philippines, as the United States has for years.

He declined to say how many USA troops were in Marawi, saying only that they were "very few".

At the high-water point of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines in 2010, about 600 special operators were working out of Camp Navarro, a high-walled base in Zamboanga, the island's second largest city and the scene of numerous bombings and kidnappings for ransom.

According to the government, at least 26 civilians, 58 police or soldiers and 206 militants have been killed since the fighting began.

The American diplomat also expressed the Americans' admiration of the "resilience and strength of Filipino people in battling adversity". The U.S. embassy in Manila did not respond to a request for comment.

Duterte's statement directly contradicts that of US officials.

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Just on June 13, Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists shot dead five civilians in the city trapped inside a house.

On Sunday, June 12, Malacanang reaffirmed that the US government's support to the Philippine troopers in Marawi was limited to "technical assistance" and "does not involve any boots on the ground".

"But a month into the lessons, they gave him a rifle and taught him how to kill", Rappler notes, quoting the boy, who said he was told that "all the Christians in the world must die". We must as a nation unite and condemn because after all, they were the ones who started it. Mattis and senior defense officials from other countries all highlighted the situation, and the Pentagon chief urged others to act immediately.

The participation of U.S. troops in the government's operations in Marawi has been criticized by several groups.

Although, Marawi is about 100 km south of Cagayan de Oro, but it was not clear whether Mohammad was coming from the besieged city.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, however, rejected the claim on Monday, saying he "never approached America..."

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Musicians from the UP community - among them from the Asian Center, Institute of Islamic Studies, College of Music, College of Arts and Letters, College of Mass Communication, Muslim Students - have reportedly volunteered to perform. "I haven't made an appeal".

"I do not know the exact number and the specific mission".

While Duterte said he'd rather not have USA troops involved in the campaign against the Maute terrorists, he thanked them for their assistance.

Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, a military spokesman, told the news service that government troops were up against some 200 militants, many using sniper positions.

Colonel Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said they are "exploring different means" to meet the deadline while considering the safety of the civilians, ABS-CBN reported.

"So it's not rebellion itself that justifies martial law".

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