Marawi City in the Philippines has been under attack since May 23rd. The attack has been headed up by an extremists group called the Maute group, a group named after three brothers. The attack staged on the Philippines is similar to the caliphate that ISIS attempted to stage in the Middle East that stretches from Raqqa, Syria to Mosul, Iraq. In the beginnings of the attack on Marawi City, ISIS has held ten Christians hostage and have beheaded two of them and plans to kill them all. So far, the death toll includes, 138 militants, 58 government troops, and 29 civilians. However, because of the intensity of the fighting, it is impossible to recover the bodies that quickly to have an accurate number.
06/12/2017 The Philippines (The Washington Post) – Nearly every day for the past three weeks, the Philippine military has pounded the lakeside town of Marawi with rockets and bombs as it tries to wipe out militants linked to the Islamic State group in some of the fiercest urban combat this volatile region has seen in decades.
And on nearly every one of those days, Abdul has stood at the window and watched, unable to turn away from the deadly spectacle unfolding just a mile (a kilometer and a half) away.
As plumes of thick, black smoke wafted above the city’s minarets again Friday — a day of intense skirmishes in which the army lost 13 marines — Abdul stood transfixed with dozens of other displaced residents. Two helicopter gunships had just finished strafing the city, and now people were pointing toward a Vietnam-era attack aircraft circling overhead.
The plane, an OV-10 Bronco, turned and dove straight down on the city center, firing off two bombs before suddenly pulling up its nose and spiraling away. Moments later, blasts shook the city and more smoke billowed skyward.
“It feels impossible that this is happening,” the 45-year-old Abdul said, as the sound of gunfire crackled in the distance. When “I see the bombings, I can’t help but cry. I can’t help but think what’s happening to my relatives, my family, my business, my house.”
Three weeks after a new alliance of Islamic militants tried to seize this town in their boldest attack yet, large chunks of downtown have been reduced to ruins. Militants remain holed up in several pockets scattered around the city center, along with at least 100 civilians, including hostages the army says are being used as human shields. There is no electricity, and most of the town’s 200,000 inhabitants have fled.
The military says the death toll includes at least 138 militants, 58 government troops and 29 civilians — among them a teenager shot Friday as he sheltered inside a Marawi mosque.
But the fighting is so intense, it’s impossible to fully recover bodies to get an accurate casualty toll.
“It hurts to watch because we know people are dying with every bomb,” Abdul said. “We know a lot of people are buried under that rubble.”
The conflict in Marawi has raised fears that the Islamic State group’s violent ideology is gaining a foothold in this country’s restive southern islands, where Muslim separatists have fought for greater autonomy for decades.