Philippine marines killed in fighting with militants

Posted June 10, 2017

Tens of thousands have fled Marawi, which is the Catholic country's most important Muslim city, as the fighting ripped through residential neighbourhoods, with more than 200,000 displaced people now living in precarious conditions and vulnerable to deadly health risks, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Friday.

It was discontinued in 2015 but a small presence remained for logistics and technical support.

But Mr Duterte has openly scorned the alliance, seeing it as an obstacle to a rapprochement with China, and has repeatedly lambasted Washington for treating his country as a lackey.

Farhana was nabbed along with two wounded Maute fighters after their vehicles were intercepted in the town of Masiu, Lanao del Sur - some 36 kilometers from the warzone - ARMM Regional Police Director Reuben Theodore Sindac was quoted by ABS-CBN news as saying.

"Several high-powered firearms and improvised explosive devices were confiscated from their possession", Sindac added.

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But Herrera denied that the United States troops are not joining Filipino soldiers in the fighting on the ground. In 2002, the USA helped Philippine authorities track down Abu Sayyaf leader Abu Sabaya, who was killed in that operation.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban and Haqqani network are active in Paktia and neighbouring provinces and often target government officials as well as Afghan security forces in the region.

The deaths take the number of security force members killed to 58, with 20 civilians and more than a hundred rebel fighters also killed in the Marawi battles.

"We don't have adequate surveillance equipment, so we asked the USA military for assistance".

When asked about the military's request, Facebook told the AFP new agency that it would remove accounts that promoted "terrorism".

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Gen. Restituto Padilla said by phone, citing a Philippine government policy that bars foreign troops from local combat.

He stressed that Facebook does remove any account linked to "groups or people that engage in terrorist activity, or posts that express support for terrorism". "Fake accounts are also prohibited".

The request for assistance came as a surprise for many, especially with the stringent stand of President Duterte against US intervention in his local policies against drugs.

Australia had offered assistance to the Philippines last week.

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