Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine army with support of helicopters and armoured tanks launched a raid on Islamist militants inside the southern city of Marawi on May 25.
The move came after President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao to address violence caused by Islamic militants who pledged allegiance with the self-claimed Islamic State (IS).
Philippine authorities said ending violence on the island was difficult as Islamic militants were hiding in residential buildings, had planted improvised bombs in the streets and had taken several hostages.
According to some Philippine military officials, there were about 50-100 Islamic gunmen on the island. A local bishop said that between 12 and 15 Catholic hostages were abducted by the militants.
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