Islamic terrorists went on a rampage in the Philippines, massacring nine Christians and kidnapping a priest as President Duterte declared martial law in an effort to stop the violence according to a recent report:

ISIS-linked militants reportedly captured nine Christians, tied their hands together and shot them dead in a city in the Philippines.

The Maute group forced the civilians off their truck at a roadside checkpoint in Marawi City on Wednesday and murdered them after they were identified as Christian, local media reported.

Harrowing images show the group lying dead face-down in the grass, amid reports that villagers are afraid to move the bodies because terrorists are still in the area.

One policeman was similarly caught at a checkpoint set up by the militants and beheaded on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

It comes as 100 US-trained special forces aboard helicopters and armoured tanks battled to retake the besieged southern city from rampaging jihadis.

‘The military is conducting precise, surgical operations to flush them out … The situation is very fluid and movements are dynamic because we wanted to out-step and out-manoeuvre them,’ he said.

An initial rampage by the gunmen, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, through the mainly Muslim city of Marawi on Tuesday prompted President Duterte to impose martial law across the southern third of the Philippines.

It is located in Lanao del Sur province, a stronghold of the Maute, a fierce, but little-known group that has been a tricky opponent for the military.

There are only between 50 and 100 gunmen, according to various military officials.

The militants are also holding between 12 and 15 Catholic hostages abducted from a church, according to the local bishop, Edwin Dela Pena.

Its activities are a source of concern for Mindanao native Duterte, who is familiar with separatist unrest but alarmed by the prospect of Islamic State’s radical ideology spreading in the Philippines.

Hundreds of civilians, including children, were sheltering in a military camp in Marawi City on Thursday.

The Maute had taken more than a dozen Christians hostage and set free 107 prisoners from two jails since Tuesday.

Bishops and cardinals had pleaded with the Maute rebels, who they said were using Christians and a priest as human shields. The status of the captives was unknown.

The fighting erupted on Tuesday after security forces raided a house where they believed Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the infamous Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom gang and Philippine head of IS, was hiding.

The United States regards Hapilon as one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, offering a bounty of $5 million for his capture.

However the raid went spectacularly wrong as dozens of gunmen emerged to repel the security forces, then went on a rampage across the city while flying black IS flags.

They also set fire to many buildings, including a church and a university.

A police chief has been beheaded and 21 people killed when more than 100 ISIS-linked militants stormed a city in the Philippines.

Members of the Maute Islamist group overran Marawi on Mindanao island leading to hours of pitched gun battles in the streets.

‘The chief of police in Malabang on his way home, going back he was stopped by a checkpoint manned by terrorists and I think they decapitated them right then and there,’ Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said.

Terrorists also attacked the Cathedral of Our Lady Help and abducted church staff including Father Chito Suganob and worshipers.

‘They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled,’ Filipino Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.

National military spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said 13 government soldiers were killed along with 13 militants.

President Duterte, who declared martial law in parts of Mindanao after militants clashed with soldiers in Marawi yesterday, said he may extend it to other parts of the country if extremists seek sanctuary elsewhere.

We are in state of emergency,’ he told reporters in Manila after a state visit to Moscow, adding he would deal with militants ‘harshly’.

Chilling photos on social media purported to show Maute gunmen planting an ISIS-style black and white flag on top of a building in the middle of the city.

‘At the time of his capture, Father Chito was in the performance of his ministry as a priest,’ Archbishop Villegas said.

He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none. His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilised conflict.’

But Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra has refused to confirm reports the terror group took hostages and insisted that the local government has the situation under control.In a telephone interview with national broadcaster ANC, Gandamra said he was working with the military to bring peace and order to the city.

Police and military spokesmen were not immediately available to comment on Villegas’s report of the hostage taking. (source)

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