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United States special forces help Philippines fight Islamic militants

United States special forces help Philippines fight Islamic militants

Special forces from the United States are assisting in the operation against Islamist militants in the besieged town of Marawi in the southern Philippines. Fighting the bandits has been made hard because of trapped civilians and the military's concern about damaging property, he said.

The Marines were killed while rescuing trapped civilians in the conflict-torn city, a Philippine army spokesperson said.

The US Embassy said the US special operations forces were dispatched to help in the crisis "at the request of the government of the Philippines". Philippine military leaders have said their troops unexpectedly interrupted plans by the fighters to take over Marawi in a spectacular event to show that IS had arrived in the Philippines and was intent on carving out territory.

Forty other marines were wounded, Herrera said. "We are saddened with the result. we have fatalities on the government side".

"We are still awaiting confirmation", he said.

A Philippine Air Force OV-10 Bronco drops bombs on suspected positions of the Maute group as fighting continues in Marawi city, southern Philippines Friday, June 9, 2017.

"We are on the offensive mode, we are constantly moving toward the position of enemies, unfortunately we incurred several casualties, we are doing our best to re-strategize", he said.

Philippine security forces have struggled to dislodge hundreds of Muslim extremists, from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, who seized large parts of Marawi on May 23, after a botched raid on the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, designated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as the head of its South-east Asia wing.

Their involvement comes after months of strain between the two allies stoked by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's hostility towards Washington and his pledges to throw out US troops who have long provided training and assistance.

A P-3 Orion surveillance plane was seen flying over Marawi last Friday, said local media reports.

He declared martial law there to quell the threat.

The US is providing "technical assistance" to the Philippines to end a battle with militants linked to the Islamic State (IS), a Philippines military official said on Saturday.

The US has had a logistical military presence in the Philippines that once involved 1,200 Americans. There are also unconfirmed reports that the local leaders of the insurgents, known as the Maute militant group, have been killed in the recent fighting.

She was allegedly on a mission to procure firearms as they prepare to escape the fighting.

Lorenzana, the designated administrator of martial law, has ordered the arrest of almost 200 militants, politicians and other suspected civilian backers of the uprising in Marawi, the heartland of Islamic faith in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

The clashes in Marawi began following a raid on the hideout of a leading Abu Sayyaf militant, Isnilon Hapilon, who pledged loyalty to IS almost three years ago.

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