Philippine troops with armored vehicles and using helicopters fought an ISIS-related militant group to re-take the city of Marawi.
Marawi, which has population of about 200,000 people, is located on the island of Mindanao that has mainly Muslim population. Rebels attacked the city on Tuesday night and started torching buildings. A local priest and his worshippers were taken hostages.
The leader of the terrorist group behind the attack is Isnilon Hapilon, an Arabic-speaking Islamic preacher, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014. He is the leader of Abu Sayyaf militant group and also of an alliance of at least ten smaller militant groups one of which is Maute, who were used to fight the troops in the city of Marawi.
During the clash more than 44 people were killed. The reports are for 31 militants and 11 soldiers, no information was given about civil victims.
President Rodrigo Duterte imposed 60 days of martial law Tuesday on the island of Mindanao, and warned he may expand martial law nationwide.