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Civilians flee Marawi as Philippines troops battle ISIL-linked fighters

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By Euronews
Civilians flee Marawi as Philippines troops battle ISIL-linked fighters

<p>Residents have been fleeing a city in the southern Philippines amid fighting between government troops and rebels linked to the so-called Islamic State.</p> <p>Marawi City has been besieged and under attack since a failed raid by security forces on the hideout of one group. Amid increasing violence and chaos, hundreds of people have been leaving to find safety elsewhere.</p> <p>Nearly 50 people – at least 30 rebels and almost a dozen soldiers – have reportedly been killed since the fighting kicked off on Tuesday.</p> <p>It followed President Dutarte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the Philippines’ second-largest island, to stop the spread of <span class="caps">ISIL</span>-linked radicalism.</p> <p>The authorities have warned that foreigners – it’s thought including Indonesians and Malaysians – have joined the insurgency. <span class="caps">ISIL</span> flags are said to have been raised in several places. </p> <p>Appeals have gone out on social media to save the local population under the hashtag #PrayForMarawi. </p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thousands of residents flee Marawi as insurgents battle Philippines troops, raise Islamic State flag – <span class="caps">ABC</span> Online <a href="https://t.co/HgzVHMRTgg">https://t.co/HgzVHMRTgg</a> <a href="https://t.co/WBPTMUSF4o">pic.twitter.com/WBPTMUSF4o</a></p>— <span class="caps">OFW</span> Updates (@OFWupdates) <a href="https://twitter.com/OFWupdates/status/868007586926272512">May 26, 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>