Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now


Churchgoers, Priest Taken Hostage in Philippines Besieged City

Churchgoers, Priest Taken Hostage in Philippines Besieged City

Likewise, he also denied that the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are downplaying the situation in Marawi City.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday placed Mindanao and nearby island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Taw-Tawi under martial law, and vowed to be "harsh" in dealing with the local militant group, Xinhua news agency reported.

Troops and police officers were engaged in fights with pro-Islamic State Maute insurgents on Tuesday in Marawi City, the Philippine army said.

"Anyone now holding a gun, confronting government with violence, my orders are spare no one, let us solve the problems of Mindanao once and for all", said Duterte, who is from the island, after cutting short a visit to Russian Federation and returning to Manila.

Social media published photos of militants driving around the town in a police vehicle they had seized, flying a black Isis-style flag on the roof. Updates to follow as the operation is still ongoing. "I'm going home. I will deal with the problem once I arrive".

"There are Maute snipers all around, so the troops are still holding and elements have already joined", he said.

At least 50 Maute members have been killed in isolated clashes with Philippine police and soldiers in the past five months.

Authorities estimated the number of extremists who occupied buildings, including City Hall, at around 100.

However Abella and Lorenzana emphasised on Tuesday that martial law on this occasion remained restricted to Mindanao.




Duterte, 72, known internationally for waging a war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives, had said on many occasions since becoming president previous year that he was prepared to declare martial law nationally as well as in Mindanao. Martial Law is a power granted by the Philippine Constitution to use military power to suppress rebellion.

The troops tried to contain the fighting in specific areas but the militants attempted to conduct diversionary tactics in other areas in Marawi City to ease off the pressure launched by the military forces against Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the alleged ISIS-inspired leader being protected by the Maute Group, Galvez added. Black flags of the global terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) were also seen atop vehicles.

"We beg every Filipino to pray fervently for Father Chito and for other hostages", concluded the statement.

An estimated 600 fighters from South-east Asian nations are fighting in Syria and Iraq.

"They understand that the presence of the President is essential in the Philippines".

He added: 'They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled'.

He is believed to be recovering from wounds sustained in a military strike in January. The IS-linked Abu Sayyaf group is responsible for piracy and kidnap-for-ransom activities in the waters bordering the Philippines and Malaysia.

Earlier in May the United States warned of possible kidnappings in other parts of the country, including Cebu.

follow

editors' picks

May 25, 2017
'DWTS' recap: Grand finale leaves audience shocked
When the victor was finally named, Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater came out on top, with David and Lindsay coming in second. They got a flawless score. "I'm going to be training harder", Jennings added.

May 22, 2017
Charlie Hunnam is king of the castle after slaying teen demons
This is very much a Guy Ritchie film - for better, but mostly, for worse. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters on May 12, 2017.

May 22, 2017
Fine Gael ministers set to bid to succeed Enda Kenny
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has confirmed he is going to step down as the leader of Fine Gael from midnight tonight. The contest will include four hustings in Dublin, Carlow, Ballinasloe and Cork over four nights from next Thursday.

May 22, 2017
SoftBank, Saudi Arabia fund, others launch $93 billion technology fund
This coming as Softbank founder Masayoshi Son plans to accelerate his financing of cutting-edge technologies and startups. The fund's announcement came as Trump visited Saudi Arabia at the start of his first overseas trip as president.

May 20, 2017
$553M settlement reached over faulty airbags
The latest settlement , which still requires approval from a federal judge, aims to speed up repairs of recalled vehicles. The safety defect has prompted recalls worldwide of about 100 million inflators by more than a dozen major automakers.

May 20, 2017
Tornadoes in Wisconsin, Oklahoma leave 2 dead
The area stretches from the Texas Panhandle through Oklahoma , western Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin . Flying over the area on Wednesday morning, Bellendir said he saw swirl marks from the tornado in the mud. "It's heartwarming.

May 20, 2017
IS kills more than 50 in central Syria
In March 2015, the group killed dozens of people and kidnapped some 50 civilians in an attack there. The IS-linked Aamaq news agency confirmed an attack is ongoing in the area without giving details.

May 20, 2017
Mauricio Pochettino delivers defiant message to Tottenham doubters over player sales
Kane has proved himself to be one of the best in the Premier League but he still has a bit to prove himself on the European stage. Spurs won a league match away from home by a margin of 5+ goals for the first time since April 1989 (5-0 v Millwall).

May 20, 2017
Something big, new comes to WhatsApp for Android in Pinned Chats Feature
This comes in as a handy tool when you have too many chats to scroll down and look for a specific piece of information. People have been talking about the new Pinned feature and have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts.

May 20, 2017
Cannes halts Netflix's 'Okja' film after screen glitch, heckling
Then film plays in wrong aspect ratio and Grand Lumiere nearly rioted. movie stopped. A representative for Netflix said a technical issue stopped the screening.