Philippine authorities on Tuesday warned Islamist militants occupying parts of a southern city to surrender or die, as attack helicopters pounded the gunmen's strongholds where up to 2,000 residents were feared trapped.
More than 100 people have been confirmed killed in the conflict, which began last week when gunmen waving black flags of the Islamic State (IS) group rampaged through the mostly Muslim-populated city of Marawi.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law across the entire southern region of Mindanao, home to roughly 20 million people, in response to the crisis as he warned that local militant groups were uniting behind IS and becoming a major security threat.
But the militants, initially estimated by the nation's defence chief to number just 100, have withstood eight days of intense air assaults and street-to-street combat, prompting the government's threats on Tuesday.
"We call on the remaining terrorists to surrender while there is an opportunity," military spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla said in a statement.
"For the terrorists, not surrendering will mean their sure death."
Padilla also told AFP the surrender call warning was aimed at limiting the loss of more lives and property.
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