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ICC Note:

The war in Marawi, Philippines has continued for over five weeks. About 71 security forces and 299 militants have been killed and almost 300,000 people were forced to flee their homes, creating a tremendous humanitarian crisis for the Philippine government. The Islamic militants, the Maute group, kill with brutality. So far, five decapitated bodies have been found by government troops. The viciousness of the fighting and killing has been under-reported, and the government troops have yet to see the severe impact this crisis has had on civilians.

06/29/2017 The Philippines (Reuters) – Five decapitated civilians were found in a Philippine city occupied by Islamist rebels on Wednesday, the military said, warning the number of residents killed by rebel “atrocities” could rise sharply as troops retake more ground.

The discovery of the five victims among 17 bodies retrieved would be the first evidence that civilians trapped in besieged Marawi City have been decapitated during the five-week stand by militants loyal to the Islamic State group, as some who escaped the city have previously reported.

Some 71 security forces and 299 militants have been killed and 246,000 people displaced in the conflict, which erupted after a failed attempt on May 23 to arrest a Filipino militant commander backed by Islamic State’s leadership.

President Rodrigo Duterte promised to destroy the militants in Marawi and said the Philippines was now dealing with “a very dangerous situation” due to young Muslims inspired by the “mass insanity” of Islamic State.

“All they do is just to kill and destroy, and killing in a most brutal way,” he said at an event where he received hundreds of sniper and assault rifles donated by China to help the military campaign in Marawi.

“They enjoy decapitating people in front of cameras. They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality,” he said.

The information about the beheadings came via a text message to reporters from Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Garcia of the Western Mindanao Command. Garcia did not respond to repeated requests for details.

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