Isis-backed militants struggle for control in the southern Philippines
by Simon Tisdall, The Guardian, May 28, 2017
The death toll in Marawi city, where martial law has been imposed, stands at 85, with Islamic State claiming responsibility.
Philippine marines advancing on a militant base in the city of Marawi in the Philippines. Martial law has been declared in the area. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images
Fears are growing that a violent attempt by local militants to seize a city in the island of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, marks the beginning of a wider attempt by Islamic State to open a new south-east Asian front in its campaign of global jihad.
Latest reports on Sunday from Marawi city, capital of the majority Muslim Lanao del Sur province, said 19 civilians had been killed by Islamist militants locked in street battles with security forces. The dead included three women and a child, officials said.
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