ISIS Abducts Catholic Priest, 13 Others in Philippines

May 24, 2017, 6:10 am

Muslim extremist group affiliated to ISIS abducted a Catholic priest and more than a dozen churchgoers while laying siege to a southern Philippine city overnight, burning buildings, ambushing soldiers and hoisting flags of the Islamic State group, officials said Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in the southern third of the nation and warned he would enforce it harshly.

The violence erupted Tuesday night after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf commander who is on Washington’s list of most-wanted terrorists with a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.

The militants called for reinforcements from an allied group, the Maute, and some 50 gunmen managed to enter the city of Marawi.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the militants forced their way into a cathedral in Marawi and seized a priest, 10 worshippers and three church workers.

The priest, Father Chito, and the others had no role in the conflict, Villegas said.

“He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none,” Villegas said of Chito. “His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilized conflict.”

Villegas says the gunmen are demanding the government recall its forces.

Duterte declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire Mindanao region, the restive southern third of the Philippine archipelago. He had vowed to be “harsh.”

“I warned everybody not to force my hand into it,” Duterte said on a plane en route to the Philippines on Wednesday. “I have to do it to preserve the republic.”

Martial law allows Duterte to harness the armed forces to carry out arrests, searches and detentions more rapidly.

He has repeatedly threatened to place the south, the scene of decades-long Muslim separatist uprisings, under martial law.

 

 

Source: nan

Follow us on Twitter @theglobengr

 

 

 GET YOUR SMS INSTANT DELIVERY ON SFWSMS.COM. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AND ENJOY CHEAP RELIABLE SMS DELIVERY.

Like this story? Get on the list for updates...it's FREE!.

Related News

LATEST POSTS

Tuface, Annie in Benue To Support Flood Victims

The popular musician, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as TuFace, has arrived at the camp for internally displaced persons in Makurdi, the Benue St....

UEFA Extends Kit Assistance Scheme to 2022

UEFA has extended its successful Kit Assistance Scheme, which supports Europe’s smaller national associations....

We're ready to prove Judiciary wrong, says Uhuru, asks IEBC to set dates

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the electoral agency to announce the dates for the repeat presidential elections as soon as possible.

....

IEBC Made Deliberate Mistakes, NASA Lawyers Tell Supreme Court

Presidential election results declared were not based on evidence, Raila Odinga's lawyers have said, citing the mismatch of results in Forms 34....

Uber Picks Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi As New CEO

Uber Technologies Inc chose Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive of travel company Expedia Inc, as its chief executive on Sunday, according to tw....

Share