Death toll nears 100 on sixth day of violence in Philippines

Philippine military jets have fired rockets at militant positions as soldiers fight to wrest control of a southern city from gunmen linked to the Islamic State group.

Additionally, 15 soldiers, two policemen and 61 militants have died in the fighting, said the authorities.

Most of the city's 200,000 residents have fled because of the fighting, but 2,000 remain trapped in areas controlled by the militants, according to Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesman for the provincial crisis management committee.

"We believe they're now low on ammunition and food", he said, speaking by phone from the capital, Manila, adding that there is significantly less resistance now than compared to the first days of battle.

'They want to leave.

"Duterte's pro-rape comments only confirm some of the worst fears of human rights activists that the Duterte government will not just turn a blind eye to possible military abuses in Mindanao, but may actively encourage them", Kine said.

Duterte told soldiers in Iligan, a city near Marawi, that he had long feared that "contamination by ISIS" loomed in the country's future, using the acronym for the Islamic State group.

Duterte has imposed martial law across the southern third of the Philippines to end the uprising.

"We can control who comes in and who comes out, who moves around and who doesn't".

A day after declaring martial law, Duterte described the nine years of military rule under Marcos as "very good", and said his will be similar.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Restituto Padilla on Saturday confirmed that foreign terrorists were among those who aided the Maute Group in the siege of Marawi City.

"As president, if I can not confront them, I will resign", Duterte said last week.

The violence that broke out on Tuesday afternoon on the southern island left 95 people dead, the military said.

The militants beheaded the police chief and gunned down civilians unable to recite prayers from the Quran. "The others were not so lucky", Bandung, who was visibly shocked, said. Attached to one of the bodies was a sign that said "Munafik" (traitor).

Eight bodies were found in a ravine on the outskirts of Marawi City.

In another discovery, the bodies of four men, three women and a child were found on Saturday near a university in the city.

"We are trying our best to ensure that the terrorist activities will not spill over", Colonel Alex Aduca, an infantry battalion commander, told the German Press Agency. "So, we hope to get clear results", he said. But the operation went awry and militants rampaged through the city, torching buildings and battling government forces in the streets.

Reports say the remaining fighters are still believed to be holding several hostages, including a priest and a number of Christians. There was no word on their fate.

The Maute group, based in Lanao del Sur, the Mindanao province that includes Marawi, was named after brothers Omarkhayam and Abdullah.

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