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Philippine Congress extends martial law in south amid siege

Since the Marawi fighting began on May 23, at least 428 militants, 105 soldiers and policemen, and 45 civilians have been killed.

world Updated: Jul 22, 2017 16:55 IST
Philippine Congress,Manila,President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine Marines prepare to fire 81mm mortars at Muslim militant positions at the frontline in Marawi on July 22, 2017.(AFP)

The Philippine Congress has overwhelmingly approved the president’s appeal for martial law in the country’s south to be extended to the end of the year, in a boost to a massive offensive aimed at quelling a two-month siege by Islamic State group-linked militants.

House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced that senators and House members voted 261-18 in favour of granting President Rodrigo Duterte’s request in a special joint session Saturday.

The military chief of staff warned during the session that aside from the siege in Marawi, extremists can stage similar attacks in other southern cities.

Since the Marawi fighting began on May 23, at least 428 militants, 105 soldiers and policemen, and 45 civilians have been killed. Half a million residents have been displaced.

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 16:55 IST