Philippine military bomb Islamist militants in urban battle

"We have many fears but at present, we simply do not have solid and sufficient facts to absolutely reject the declaration of Martial law as morally reprehensible", Quevedo said in a pastoral guidance.

"The main goal of the offensive is to suppress the lawlessness and to maintain normalcy in Marawi so that our people here, our countrymen, can return, especially by Ramadan", he said.

Duterte himself spoke on Friday, warning, "you can say that the ISIS is here already".

It could not be immediately established if the two were involved with the militant group or were visiting the Muslim-majority city on Mindanao island.

We had to turn around because we were not finding soldiers there.

"I saw two jets swoop down and fire at rebel positions repeatedly", Alexander Mangundatu, a security guard, said as a plume of black smoke billowed in the distance.

"These are civilians, women".

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla also stressed the need to end the conflict as soon as possible, urging the city's residents to cooperate in the ongoing clearing operations.

The bishop said he was at the outskirts of Marawi City when the attack took place and only learned that the Saint Mary Cathedral and his residence was burned at about midnight.

He said Mr Hapilon suffered a stroke after a government airstrike wounded him in January.

Islamist militants locked in street-to-street battles with security forces in a southern Philippine city have killed 19 civilians, the military said Sunday, bringing the official death toll from almost a week of fighting to at least 85.

In a sign that the long-standing problem of militancy in the south could be expanding, Solicitor General Jose Calida said foreigners, including Indonesians and Malaysians, were fighting alongside the gunmen in Marawi.

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Her defeats came to Henin at the 2007 US Open, and to Serena Williams at the Dubai and the US Open in 2014 and US Open in 2016. Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova , a potential title contender, defeated Christina McHale 7-5 6-4 to reach round two.


He also joked on Friday that he would join soldiers in the fight against extremists if he could, but he had arthritis.

Government troops check a vehicle evacuating residents from their hometown of Marawi city in the southern Philippines, as it drives past a military checkpoint in Pantar town, Lanao del Norte, Philippines May 24, 2017.

Troops rescued about 100 trapped civilians from their homes Saturday, he said.

"In as much as we would like to avoid collateral damage, these terrorists are forcing the hand of government by hiding and holding out inside private homes, government buildings and other facilities".

The army deployed additional ground troops over the weekend and dispatched helicopters to carry out rocket strikes on Maute positions as fighters held buildings and a bridge deep inside a predominantly Muslim city where few civilians remained.

Nevertheless, security analysts regard these groups as lacking the fundamentalist ideology of their IS superiors, and say they are more interested in criminal activities than implementing ultra-strict versions of Sharia law.

"We can still talk about it, " Mr Duterte said.

Duterte promised his armed forces "the weapons and the equipment and we have the air assets to help you". He also heads an alliance of at least 10 smaller militant groups, including the Maute, which have a heavy presence in Marawi and were instrumental in fighting off government forces in this week's battles.

Dela Pena said they ran to the nearby bishop's house, hoping they would be safe there, but the militants burst in after them.

But he warned that the Maute group is risky and that Mindanao is being invaded by foreign fighters. It is seen as a tactically smart, social media savvy group eager to align with IS militants.

Military spokesman Herrera said the security operations to rid Marawi of the gunmen would continue despite the start of Ramadan.

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