DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:50 A.M.) – Al-Masdar News has obtained the first official Islamic State video from Marawi, an embattled city in the southern Philippines which witnessed a large-scale ISIS uprising last week, prompting Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte to initiate a 60-day state of emergency in the province of Lanao.
Amaq Agency released footage showing insurgents from Maute and Abu Sayyaf, two jihadist groups which have pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, in action against the Philippine Army across the predominately Sunni city.
Two consecutive ambushes have been conducted on armored vehicles since ISIS launched its insurgency, one of which was shown in the video. Dead government troops were still lying inside the vehicle.
At least 89 ISIS members have been killed since the battle began on May 22, wiping out roughly 20% of its fighting force. Meanwhile, the Philippine Army has sustained well above 100 casualties during its bid to retake the largely Muslim city.
For instance, a Philippine bomber plane accidentally killed 11 government soldiers and injured seven others, security officials said Thursday.
Concerning images have also emerged showing forced conversation of the city’s Christian population. Around 200,000 people lived in Marawi before clashes began. However, over 90% have fled due to the fighting already.