369 Dead, Many Displayed In Philippines As military And Islamic Militants Continue To Battle

The Philippines military has yesterday admitted on Friday that around 40 foreign terrorists had already entered the country as it highlighted the need to secure its borders especially in Mindanao.

At a media conference, Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, deputy commander of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, said that the porous borders of the Philippine archipelago had made the entry of foreign militants possible.

The military’s statement came days after the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to jointly fight Islamist militants and to establish joint anti-terror patrols in waters straddling the countries’ borders.

The inflows of foreign radicals has been reported in years prior to the clash in Marawi. Also includes an Islamist preacher who was deported, and a Malaysian terrorist leader killed in Maguindanao.

According to a reports by Phil Star Global, the military and Islamist fighters belonging to the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf are currently engaged in a one-month street-to-street battle as the militants tried to establish a so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Marawi, a city of about 220,000.

It’s reported that this has alarmed the Philippines’ neighbors as it sparked fears of widespread terror attacks that could leave the region scarred by attacks in the past in flames.

Government forces and Islamist militants continue to battle in Marawi, a once dynamic city of 200,000. The fighting has already claimed the lives of 369 individuals and displaced most of its residents, some of whom have already died in evacuation centers because of illnesses.

The military and police have struggled to rid the city of the remaining militants strategically positioned in a small pocket of Marawi.

“They have already refused to set a deadline on when the clashes will end after missing several targets in the past”. According to Phil Star Global.

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