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Philippines keeps martial law on Mindanao


Philippines

Philippines keeps martial law on Mindanao

Philippine lawmakers have voted to retain martial law on the southern island of Mindanao until the end of the year giving President Rodrigo Duterte more time to tackle armed extremists allied with Islamic State.

Security officials had told lawmakers that martial law was needed to stabilise a region where Islamic State was gaining influence, and supporters could be inspired to stage uprisings
in other areas of Mindanao, joined by foreign jihadists.

Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23 when heavily-armed militants belonging to the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups along with foreign fighters stormed Marawi City, sparking
the biggest security crisis of his presidency.

The battle to liberate Marawi continues two months after with more than 420 militants, 100 soldiers and 45 civilians killed

Martial law remains a sensitive issue in the Philippines as it brings back memories of human rights abuses that occurred in the 1970s under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.