Philippines conflict: Starving residents tell of terror in Marawi

  |   World News

The Philippines armed forces controls nearly all of the city, they have been saying; the black-clad militants, who so surprised them by seizing Marawi in the name of so-called Islamic State on 23 May, have taken heavy casualties, and are encircled.

Norodin told me many of the fighters he encountered on his doorstep were not locals; they were ethic Tausug and Yakan, he said, from the Sulu archipelago in the far south-west of the country, a stronghold of another ruthless This is clear evidence of the alliance believed to have been formed last year between four hard-line Islamist groups on Mindanao, all pledging allegiance to so-called Islamic State.

Like Norodin Alonto Lucman, Omar Solitario is from an older generation of Moro fighters, who waged a more conventional insurgency against the government in the 1970s and 80s, and then became political and business leaders in the ceasefires that have lasted for most of the past two decades.

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