‘Militants affiliated with Islamic State are vying for control of the city of Marawi in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte put the island of Mindanao under martial law, ordered in special forces and cut short his state visit to Russia.
Islamist-extremist insurgents from the Maute group are engaging government forces in firefights and the area, which boasts a population of 200,000, is now on lockdown, according to Philippines authorities.
Local reports indicate the militants have established checkpoints in the city.
Facebook posts by Marawi residents depict photos of fighters, clad in black, moving through streets while heavily armed. Local media reports the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) flag flies over a medical center while other residents are tweeting that buildings have been set ablaze and roads blocked.’