Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon incapable of launching new attacks

Roman Catholic priest abducted by Isis-linked militants spotted 'alive' in besieged Marawi Resumption of Fighting in Philippines After End of Ramadan
Terence Owen | 02 July, 2017, 15:06

What has created most intrigue is Duterte being largely missing during what is the biggest crisis of his year-old presidency, as the military battles for a sixth week to defeat Daesh-linked rebels now occupying Marawi City on his home island of Mindanao.

"Of course, a lot of private sector investments will be affected but I think the government will go in and rehabilitate Marawi", Lao said in an interview with reporters on Wednesday.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has no valuable evidence that will confirm reports that Abu Sayyaf and Daesh leader in the Philippines, Isnilon Hapilon, has already escaped Marawi City.

"The recovered cadavers are believed to be among those civilians who were helplessly murdered by the Maute terrorists", AFP Brig. The retired general is assigned to coordinate efforts to free trapped civilians in Marawi City.

Ucanews.com reported that Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, army spokesman, said the priest was seen alive in a part of the city that is still in the hands of the terrorists, who claim to have links with the Islamic State groups.

CHINESE Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua vowed on Wednesday to help the Philippines in its fight against terrorism amid the continuing military offensives against Islamic State (IS)-linked Maute bandits.

Almost 400 people, mostly suspected terrorists, have been killed since the clashes erupted last May 23, but the military fears the civilian death toll could increase significantly as more bodies have yet to be recovered and killings verified. The only thing that would stop it is good governance, and that is not on offer under Duterte.

Roman Catholic priest abducted by Isis-linked militants spotted 'alive' in besieged Marawi
Will Duterte heed the message inherent in Marawi's Islamist uprising?

The death toll arising from these killings was not included in the official figure on civilians killed, which stands at 27.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the island of Mindanao until the insurgency had been effectively quashed, attracting criticism from human rights groups who fear a return to the days of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

"(It) may increase significantly once we are able to validate all this information", Padilla said. "All that they want is to kill and destroy, how can we live with that?" he said.

Hermoso said that the Muslim leaders and Abdullah also discussed the possibility of terrorists laying down arms.

Murad Ebrahim, MILF chairman, said the front was willing to open communication lines with the brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute, who used to be part of his group before they were radicalized overseas, ABS-CBN reported on Wednesday. To date, some 1,700 civilians have been rescued from the fighting, which has displaced a total of 246,000 people.

The MILF and government have been cooperating in maintaining a humanitarian and peace corridor to ferret out civilians trapped in the fighting.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, who have pledged allegiance to IS, carried out a nine-hour long attack on the town of Malagakit, robbing houses and stores at gunpoint, forcing hundreds of residents to flee.

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