MANILA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that the Philippine forces are now facing a formidable and ferocious Islamist militants who are out to kill "all nonbelievers."
Speaking to troops in Butuan City in the southern Philippines, Duterte said the Maute militants managed to secretly slipped into Marawi City a huge cache of ammunition and high-powered firearms before they launched the attack on May 23.
"We have a conglomeration of ISIS (IS) fighters there (in Marawi City)," Duterte said, justifying the need to use fighter jets and other air assets to defeat the remaining militants holed up in parts of the city.
The military has said troops are trying to flush out up to 200 militants who continue to wage a fierce fight using civilians as shields.
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