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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Declares Martial Rule in Southern Part of Country

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned that he’ll implement martial law in his nation’s south.

He unexpectedly left Moscow to deal with an emergency at home started by a Muslim extremist attack on a city, where militants burned structures and are feared to have taken hostages.

Duterte declared martial rule for 60 days in the whole southern Mindanao district. As a result of Muslim fanatics who have aligned themselves with the Islamic State group and occupied a hospital, jail, and different structures and battled troops in an assault in Marawi City.

“I said I would be harsh and I warned everybody not to force my hand into it. However, I have to do it to preserve the republic.” Duterte said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said troops raided the fort of a top terrorist suspect in Marawi on Tuesday. The assault started a gunbattle that resulted in the militants calling for reinforcements from an allied group, the Maute. A few activists were killed in the battling in Marawi city, around 830 kilometers (520 miles) south of Manila. However, others kept on attacking the largely Muslim city of more than 200,000 individuals, including that power, was cut in the city in the chaos.

“The whole of Marawi city is blacked out, there is no light. And there are Maute snipers all around,” Lorenzana said in the news gathering in Moscow.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he informed Sergey Lavrov, of Duterte’s choice to fly home ahead of schedule to manage the emergency. As a result, Cayetano said he would remain behind in Moscow, where various agreements are to be signed between the governments.

Duterte met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he is relying on Russia to supply weapons for the Philippines to fight terrorism.

“Of course, our country needs modern weapons, we had orders in the United States, but now the situation there is not very smooth and in order to fight the Islamic State, with their units and factions, we need modern weapons,” he stated.

Duterte’s martial law declaration will help government forces do searches, capture and detain re rebel suspects faster, Lorenzana said. He said offensives would likewise be organized in other southern territories tormented by extremist groups.

Military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano said the battling began when troops assaulted a safe house for Muslim extremist leader Isnilon Hapilon.

Hapilon has been chosen to lead an Islamic State group branch in Southeast Asia. Apparently, he is on the U.S. Department of Justice list of most-wanted terrorists around the world. With a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.

Around 20 of the shooters positioned in a hospital, where they raised a black Islamic State flag at the door.

“They did some burnings. They showed up in another area so it looked chaotic. However, it’s actually a small group facing an overwhelming number of government forces. We will conduct house-to-house clearing and do everything to remove the threat there. We can do that easily,” Ano stated. Yet he included it was more difficult in an urban setting because of the need to avoid civilian casualties.

The Maute has been blamed for a bomb assault that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, Duterte’s hometown.

A month ago, troops supported via airstrikes killed many Maute activists and caught their jungle camp close Lanao del Sur’s Piagapo town. Troops discovered homemade bombs, grenades, combat uniforms and passports of suspected Indonesian militants in the camp.

Human rights groups have expressed fears that martial law powers could additionally embolden Duterte. They have blamed him for permitting extrajudicial killings of thousands of drug suspects in a crackdown on illegal drugs.

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