(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Government troops clashed with Islamic militants in the southern Philippines on Thursday (May 25) as the gun fight continued on its second day.
The clash was about 700 meters from a nearby military camp in Marawi City where the Islamic State-linked Maute group occupied parts of the city and burned down several establishments on Tuesday (May 23), which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to cut his trip to Russia and declare martial law to the entire southern island of Mindanao.
Thirteen militants and seven members of the security forces have so far been killed and 33 troops wounded in the fighting, according to the military.
The Maute and Abu Sayyaf militant groups have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and have proved fierce opponents for the military as Duterte seeks to crush extremists and prevent radical Islamist ideology from spreading in the Philippines.