Philippine flag raised on Independence Day in war-torn city

Fr. Teresito Suganob says in the video he is one of around 200 people being held hostage by the Islamists who stormed the city last week, setting fire to buildings including a cathedral and Christian college.

Granted, there is virtually no possibility of the ISIS-linked militants successfully holding on to an ever-shrinking part of Marawi City in the Lanao del Sur province on the southern island of Mindanao against the ongoing military assault.

The military had hoped to clear Marawi of the Islamist gunmen from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups by Monday, but officials said retaking the city from the terrorists would take longer.

Bombs continue to shake the southern Philippines city of Marawi as the battle to eradicate hundreds of ISIS-affiliated militants enters its third week. One Christian student [who fled the city's university] says they're traumatised by what's happening.

"Just a little more patience, but rest assured that we have enough forces, and this Maute-ISIS will not actually win", he said.

At least 26 civilians, 58 police or soldiers and 202 militants have been killed, according to the government.

Calida's information and assertion in the comment can be gleaned as the government's stance on ISIS, as he is the top lawyer defending President Rodrigo Duterte and his martial law proclamation before the High Court.

The military missed its previous deadline - June 2 - to disable the militants, and deployed additional troops from Manila to join the fighting.

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the urban terrain was hampering the army's progress because the rebels had hunkered down in built-up neighborhoods, many of them with civilians they had taken as human shields.

World Cup Qualifying Table, Standings and Updated Points After USA Draw
The four points from these last two games should help the team book a ticket to the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation . They like to open you up and attack the gaps between your back line if you're playing a back four.

According to Jones, the Maute group has "the smartest, best-educated and most sophisticated members" of all the pro-ISIS outfits in the Philippines.

Indonesian and Malaysian officials have stepped up security to prevent militants from escaping from Marawi over their shared borders with the Philippines.

"This is dedicated to soldiers who offered their lives to implement our mission in Marawi city", said Colonel Jose Maria Cuerpo, commander of an army brigade fighting in Marawi.

Abella defended the military from criticism that it had failed to meet its target of ending the Marawi siege by Independence Day, saying the situation on the ground was "complicated". Some fear that the temporary martial law order in Mindanao could be expanded nationwide, an idea Mr Duterte has openly toyed with so that he could use the military in his anti-drug campaign.

Local reports of American surveillance operations on Mindanao, where the Islamic insurgency sprouted, suggested that troops were flying drones to gather intelligence in the area.

The groups, Calida said, are the Abu Sayyaf led by Isnilon Hapilon, Ansarul Khilafah Philippines (AKP) led by Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, Maute Group led by Omar Maute, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Thus, it was with some irony that it has now emerged that USA forces are helping Philippines to battle the Isis-linked fighters entrenched in Marawi.

But the militants have been able to withstand the military campaign partly due to some of their leaders coming from Marawi, and having vital knowledge of underground tunnels and bomb-proof shelters dug in the city decades ago.

As the conflict intensifies, the United States embassy in Manila said on Saturday American forces were providing assistance to the Filipino troops, although it declined to give details for security reasons.

Latest News