Philippine marines killed in fighting with militants

Philippine marines killed in fighting with militants

Since the violence erupted on 23 May, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Marawi, parts of which have been reduced to rubble by fighting and government airstrikes. Some 40 marines were wounded in the gunbattles that lasted 14 hours, according to military spokesman Colonel Edgardo Arevalo.

"For security reasons, we are not able to discuss specific technical details of USA support for ongoing AFP operations", the spokesman added.

Daesh terrorists unified to ISIS killed thirteen Philippine marines in Marawi city battle on Saturday.

Until now there had been no confirmation that the Philippines had sought United States assistance in the battle for Marawi City on the island of Mindanao, which is in its third week.

The insurgents have so far withstood more than two weeks of air and ground assaults by security forces, with about 2,000 people believed to be trapped in militant-held areas although the military said this amounts to only around 10% of the city.

"We have indicated to the Philippines. we stand ready to assist if there is a request", she told reporters.

But he added the military is still "validating" the report and there is no way of independently confirming it.

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The government earlier said that the unrest had left 20 civilians, 134 militants and 39 government troops dead.

Friday's clash brings to 58 the total number of soldiers and policemen killed in the battle for the city.

The plane was dropping the bomb on Islamic extremists who have laid a long siege in a southern city of the country, the military had said. "There are just providing technical support", Herrera said.

The heavy fighting occurred as police arrested the mother of two brothers leading the militants, who come from different local groups that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist movement. "They also used civilians as human shields.We are very precise in our operations to avoid collateral damage", he said.

The announcement of USA help in the embattled southern region of Mindanao comes after Duterte has sought to reduce the Philippines' reliance on the United States and build much closer ties with China and Russian Federation.

The assistance helps military commanders in their fight against the militants and was offered at the request of the Philippine government, according to the statement, which didn't give details of the support.

He also confirmed that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was still in Marawi City.

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