Philippines City Was Attacked By ISIS Militants, who beheaded a police chief and killed 21 people.
Maute Islamist group attacked Marawi on Mindanao Island, which caused gun fights on the streets.
‘The chief of police in Malabang on his way home, going back he was stopped by a checkpoint manned by terrorists and I think they decapitated them right then and there,’ Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said.
Extremists attacked the Cathedral of Our Lady Help and kidnapped church staff including Father Chito Suganob and churchgoers.
‘They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled,’ Filipino Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.
National military spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said 13 government soldiers were killed along with 13 militants.
President Duterte declared martial law in few areas of Mindanao after militants fought with soldiers in Marawi yesterday, he may also extend it to other parts of the country if extremists seek sanctuary elsewhere.
‘We are in state of emergency,’ he told reporters in Manila after a state visit to Moscow, adding he would deal with militants ‘harshly’.
Horrifying pictures have been uploaded on social media to show Maute gunmen planting an ISIS-style black and white flag on top of a building in the center of the city.
‘At the time of his capture, Father Chito was in the performance of his ministry as a priest,’ Archbishop Villegas said.
‘He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none. His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilised conflict.’
Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra didn’t confirm that the terror group has taken hostages and claims that the local government has the situation under control.
Security forces first raided a house of Isnilon Hapilon, who is the leader of the infamous Abu Sayyaf kidnap gang and Philippine head of ISIS, was hiding, this was when the fights erupted.
The United States believes Hapilon to be one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, and they are offering a bounty of $6 million for his capture.
Hapilon is trying to bring together Filipino militant groups that have professed allegiance to IS, which includes Maute group.
Duterte said that the Islamic state was one of the nation’s top security concerns.
Islamist combativeness is not new to the southern Philippines, where a decades-long Muslim separatist insurgency have already claimed more than 120,000 lives.
Muslim rebels carried out a siege in the southern city of Zamboanga in 2013 that left more than 200 people dead. However, the president Benigno Aquino did not declare martial law.