A peaceful City of the southern part of the Philippines turns into Chaos as Maute Islamic Group invaded the City.
Gunshots reverberated through villages in Barangay Basak Malulut in Marawi City, Philippines as Maute gunmen and soldiers clashed there Tuesday, sending Maranaws (local Tribes) running for their lives.
The terrorist was suspected to be a group led by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute group who boasts of loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and uses the black ISIS flag as its revolutionary banner.
Senior Superintendent Oscar Nantes, director of the Lanao del Sur provincial police, said that the scene of the encounter is not too distant from their headquarters and the campus of the Mindanao State University.
The firefight, which started around 2 p.m., had dragged for hours, triggering a mass evacuation, an official said.
A Facebook user residing near the area was able to capture this horror brought by these Islamic group. Watch the Facebook video below.
Some 20 gunmen took a position in a hospital and raised a black ISIS flag. A photo shared on the Facebook page of the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network showed a Maute fighter mounting an ISIS flag on a police vehicle the terror group sequestered, according to philstar.
The administration has also advised all faculty members to cancel all in-school activities and retreat to the safety of their respective boarding houses and dormitories.
In other reports, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines also released a statement saying Father Chito Suganob and others who were in the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians were also taken as hostage. The CBCP said the militants have threatened to kill the hostages “if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled.”
DECLARATION OF MARTIAL LAW
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in response to the clashes between the military and the Maute group in Marawi City. President Duterte was currently in Russia during the terrorist attack happen.
Presidential Spokesman made the announcement at a press conference in Moscow at around 6:30 PM Manila Time.
Abella also said that details of martial law will be “forthcoming” and that it covers the whole island of Mindanao and island groups in the region.
“He has full confidence in the AFP and PNP’s management of the situation,” Abella said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said at the same press conference that the President will be cutting his visit to Russia short because his presence is needed in the country.
President Duterte left Russia at 6:36 a.m. Wednesday (Manila time) onboard flight PR-001. He is expected to arrive in Manila at about 4:30 p.m. of the same day.