Tragedy in the Philippines, an ISIS partnered terror group kidnapped nine Christians, bound their hands together, and executed them. The group responsible for the massacre are called The Maute, and they apparently forced civilians to exit their vehicles after they claimed to be Christians…They didn’t know that they would be heading to their deaths. This was only a part of the long battle that was taking place in a southern city between jihadi forces and the government.
Jo-Ar Herrera, a representative for the military’s First Infantry Regiment reported on the status of the battle:
‘We’re confronting maybe 30 to 40 remaining from the local terrorist group. The military is conducting precise, surgical operations to flush them out…The situation is very fluid and movements are dynamic because we wanted to out-step and outmaneuvre them.’
The first attack by the ISIS backed Maute on the Muslim majority city, has caused President Duterte to enforce martial law across the whole southern third part of the Philippines.
The authorities involved in the operation to take back the city are said to have claimed the operation has proven to be exceedingly difficult, as the terrorist have holed up in residential areas, surrounded by civilians who could not evacuate. I.E.D’s have also proven to be difficult to maneuver around as they have planted several throughout the city. The group are also to have been reported to be holding Catholic hostages as well.
Marawi mayor Majul Usman Gandamra has claimed:
‘People are afraid. They do not want to open establishments. Offices are closed. We do not want people to be used as human shields.’
The Daily Mail:
Two military helicopters flew above Marawi and armored tanks churned through its streets as automatic rifle firing could be heard on Thursday, according to an AFP photographer in the city. Marawi has about 200,000 residents but many of them have fled because of the fighting. It is located in Lanao del Sur province, a stronghold of the Maute, a fierce, but little-known group that has been a tricky opponent for the military. There are only between 50 and 100 gunmen, according to various military officials.
The militants are also holding between 12 and 15 Catholic hostages abducted from a church, according to the local bishop, Edwin Dela Pena. Its activities are a source of concern for Mindanao native Duterte, who is familiar with separatist unrest but alarmed by the prospect of Islamic State’s radical ideology spreading in the Philippines.
The fighting erupted on Tuesday after security forces raided a house where they believed Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the infamous Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom gang and Philippine head of IS, was hiding.
The United States has already established a bounty on Hapilon, who has proven to be one of the world’s most notorious terrorists, with a price tag to the amount of $5 million if captured.
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