Philippines ends five-day siege against rebels pledged to Islamic State

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte gestures a clenched fist as he visit soldiers in Butig, Lanao del Sur, southern Philippines

From Reuters:

“Troops in the southern Philippines retook a disused building from Muslim militants on Wednesday, ending an intense five-day siege that killed dozens of fighters the authorities say had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

The incident highlights the challenges facing President Rodrigo Duterte in keeping order in the Philippines, particularly in his native south, riven by nationalist rebellions for decades.

The military stepped up its offensive after the weekend, pounding rebels holed up in a disused municipal hall with artillery and bombs dropped from aircraft. The army said 30 security forces were wounded and 61 rebels killed in the operation.

The militants belonged to the Maute group, one of several Islamist groups in the country’s restive south.”

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