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PBA pays tribute to fallen heroes of Marawi City

26 Juin 2017

A top military general of the Philippines said on June 13 that Islamic militants are controlling 20 percent of the southern city of Marawi in Mindanao island.

A Philippines military spokesman confirmed Saturday that the U.S. is providing technical support and intelligence.

Thousands of Philippine soldiers, now advised by US Special Forces and US reconnaissance aircraft, have been battling with several hundred insurgents who overran the city last month, flying black flags of the so-called "Islamic State ('IS')". "The United States is a proud ally of the Philippines, and we will continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries", the US Embassy said in a statement in May. Carlito Galvez, told a news conference that the fight would be "most hard, deadly, bloody, and it will take days and months to clear up".

Indonesia's military chief says Jakarta is looking to establish joint patrols with the Philippines and Malaysia for protection against Islamic State.

In response, Duterte declared martial law over the entire southern island of Mindanao, where Marawi is located.

But he said Indonesia is vulnerable due to the existence of terrorist sleeper cells in most of its provinces, though unlike the case of the Philippines, they lack weapons. The city's population of just over 200,000 has mostly managed to escape the fighting.

There were tearful scenes in Marawi on Tuesday morning after five Muslim policemen and five Christian construction workers sprinted about two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the militant-controlled areas to safety.

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Bomb blasts rocked Marawi City in the southern Philippines on Monday (June 12) as the national flag was raised to mark independence day, nearly three weeks after hundreds of Islamist militants overran the town and hunkered down with civilians as human shields.

"The key component we saw in the firefight with the marines [on Friday] was how the terrorists are using mosques", he said, as Rappler reports. Definitely the funding is there so the Maute group is auditioning.

Herrera says the Philippine military is "still awaiting confirmation" that the Maute brothers, two leaders of the militant occupation, were killed in the fighting this week - but, as Reuters reports, Hererra says "there are strong indications" they were.

An Associated Press journalist and photographer saw a U.S. Navy P3 Orion plane hovering in cloudy skies above Marawi on Friday.

The last time the Philippine security forces sustained large numbers of deaths was in 2015, when 44 police commandos were killed in a botched attempt to capture a Malaysian Islamist militant in the same region. "Basically, all operational matters are handled by us, there are no Americans involved", said Galvez.

Joining the Justice chief were Justice Undersecretaries Antonio T. Kho, Jr., supervising undersecretary for the DoJ National Prosecution Service (NPS), and Renante Orceo, undersecretary assigned to set up the temporary office of the City Prosecutor's Office of Marawi City in Iligan City.

The Philippine military, which is receiving USA help, declared that it would have militant fighters flushed out by Philippines Independence Day on Monday.

PBA pays tribute to fallen heroes of Marawi City