The casualties increased as the battle between the government troops and the combined forces of Maute Group and Abu Sayaff continues. The violence erupted on Tuesday after the Army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged allegiance of IS.
As the details of the attacks emerged through social media, fears mounted that Philippines might end up into a growing list of countries struggling with the spread influence of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Meanwhile, here’s an update of the casualties during the Marawi siege.
According to the Armed Forces public affairs Chief Col. Edgar Arevalo, the deatht toll is now at 21 where thirteen militants, five soldiers, a security guard, and two policemen died during the battle. On the other hand, thirty-one others were wounded.
Rescued civilians used as human shield
Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cartlito Galvez Jr. stated that there have been 120 civilians used as human shield by the militants holed up at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center but they were already rescued.
The civilians included eight patients, forty-nine construction workers and twenty-one hospital staff. Moreover, troops cleared the Dansala College and recued forty-two teacchers who were trapped inside during the attack.
Duterte might extend army rule to Visayas and Luzon
Duterte said that he might extend army rule to Visayas and Luzon. He also announced that he had ordered the Philippine Navy to set a blockade in the waters between Visayas and Mindanao. Furthermore, the privilege of habeas corpus had been suspended and the government security forces may conduct searches and set up checkpoints on the second largest island of the Philippines.
The Philippine National Police has been put on full alert status nationwide. All unit commanders were directed to reinforce security in all vital installations and public places. Red alert status is also activated by the social welfare department.
Areas on heightened alert
Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, and Zamboanga are on heightened alerts. After sightings of alleged terrorist in Cotabato City, residents were told to take extra precautionary measures as a triple red alert status was raised by the city government. Also, Davao City is now under a hold-and-secure situation where travel to and from the city is discouraged.
There have been 107 inmates escaped from Marawi City jails- Malabang District Jail 39 and Marawi City Jail after the Maute gunmen attack.
Taken as hostages
Two church workers, a priest and ten parishioners were taken hostages by the militants. There was also a teacher reportedly taken as a hostage.
Slain policemen hailed a hero in Marawi
Senior Insp. Freddie Solar, chief of regional Drug Enforcement Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was killed in the initial shootout while he was accompanying his wife at a hospital in Marawi. The said policemen had a dream of becoming a lawyer and serve his colleagues through law but could no longer do it because of his death. He was actually planning to go to Cotabato City and enroll at the Notre Dame University College Law if his death didn’t happen.
On the other hand, Duterte flew back in Manila after he cut short a trip to Moscow on Wednesday. He declared martial law in Mindanao yet may also extend it to Visayas. Martial law allows Duterte to use Armed Forces to carry out arrests, searches and detentions immediately. Details from inside Marawi were sketchy because it appeared to be sealed off and they don’t have electrici