Published by compdiskinc on August 2, 2017

Blasts rock besieged city as Philippines marks independence day

Blasts rock besieged city as Philippines marks independence day

Explosions of dazzled Marawi City bombs in southern Philippines on Monday as the national flag rose to mark independence day, almost three weeks after hundreds of militants have surpassed the city and are released with civilians as human shields.

Rescue workers, soldiers and firefighters sang the national anthem and listened to speeches, while three OV-10 attack aircraft moved in the overcast sky, taking turns bombing in areas where combatants are still blocked.

“To our Muslim brothers out there, we want to tell them to stop their senseless struggle because we are all Muslims,” ​​said Deputy Provincial Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr ..

The Flag ceremony is normally held twice a week but was the first in the predominantly Muslim city since May 23, the first day of the site, when militants have killed and kidnapped Christians and burned down a cathedral.

Almost the entire population of about 200 000 people have fled the city by the lake on the island of Mindanao, south of Philipppines, but beyond the checkpoints, there are still some 500-1000 trapped or in possession of Civilians as hostages.

Saturday, the number of security forces killed in the battle for Marawi was 58. The number of civilian deaths was 20 and more than 100 died at all.

Marawi’s capture by fighters allied with the Islamic state, including some in the Middle East, has alarmed in Southeast Asia, who fear that the ultra-radical group – on a back foot in Iraq and Syria – trying to create a fortress In Mindanao that could endanger their region.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Domingo said he did not expect Marawi to be as serious as it was later, adding that it had now emerged “that Baghdadi himself, head of ISIS specifically ordered the terrorist activities here in the Philippines.”

Duterte did not say how he knew that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic chief of state, whose movement is commonly known as ISIS, had given instructions for the Marawi attack.

Plan to knock down other cities
Foreign Minister Allan Peter Cayetano said in an address on Independence Day in Manila that militants had planned to take over at least two or three cities in Mindanao.

His plan was thwarted because the troops have a preemptive strike to capture Marawi Isnilon Hapilon, head of the Abu Sayyaf group and the “emir” of the Islamic State of Southeast Asia.

“We want to coordinate very well with Indonesia and Malaysia so they do not suffer as extremists,” he said.

“But the president has seen the beginning of his mandate, while more allies succeed in Syria and Iraq, they (the Islamic State) are looking for a land base, and Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will be a potential target for them.”

Washington said on weekends, it supported the Philippine armed forces to free activist pockets of Marawi. Manila said it was a technical assistance and there were no “American boots on the ground”.

A US official, speaking on the basis of anonymity, said support includes air monitoring and guidance, electronic surveillance, communications assistance and training. A US P-3 Orion surveillance plane was seen in the city on Friday.

Co-operation between the old allies in the battle is important because Duterte, who came to power a year ago, took a hostile stance toward Washington and promised to expel US military trainers and advisers from their countries.

The Pentagon has no permanent presence in the Philippines, but for years it held rotating exercises of 50 to 100 special forces soldiers in the south.

Duterte did, said Sunday that he had not requested Washington’s support to end the site and was not aware that US special forces were in attendance.

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