Philippine marines killed in fighting with militants

US forces join Philippine troops to end city siege: media

"As we have in the past, we routinely consult with our Filipino partners at senior levels to support the Duterte administration's counterterrorism efforts", the embassy said, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Philippine army spokesman Brig Gen Restituto Padilla Jr has vowed that the national flag will be flying once again over all of Marawi by Monday - the Philippine national day.

The 13 marines were killed during an "intense firefight" on Friday as they were conducting operations to clear enemy positions, military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera told a news conference.

‪"At the request of the government of the Philippines, US special operations forces are assisting the AFP with ongoing operations in Marawi", the US embassy said in a statement.

Herrera said the militants' tactics was making it harder for security forces to carry out attacks without causing civilian casualties and hurting religious sensitivities.

The marines were on an operation to rescue about 100 hostages held by the militants, who set off improvised explosive devices and fired rocket-propelled grenades at the advancing troops, Herrera said.

The fresh army fatalities raised the death toll from the government side to 58, while 138 extremists and 21 civilians were also killed.

8 dead as storm brings rain to drought-hit Cape Town
According to the newspaper, people in the Whale Rock and Longships areas, near Robberg, were being evacuated. Flames engulfed dozens of homes in Knysna and led to the closures of some stretches of a coastal highway.

Farhana was nabbed along with two wounded Maute fighters after their vehicles were intercepted in the town of Masiu, Lanao del Sur - some 36 kilometers from the warzone - ARMM Regional Police Director Reuben Theodore Sindac was quoted by ABS-CBN news as saying.

It was discontinued in 2015 but a small presence remained for logistics and technical support. Mindanao was put under martial law to prevent the hostilities from spreading.

Marawi-based military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera confirmed the USA help, adding that the special forces were not fighting, but "providing technical support".

The battle began on May 23 when Maute militants fired at soldiers attempting to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, the Abu Sayyaf leader who has been described as the "emir" of Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

A military helicopter prepares to land as fighting continues in Marawi on Friday.

Philippine troops have been battling the Maute group, which claims allegiance with Islamic State, in Marawi for more than two weeks.

Family members of victims from a military plane crash prepare for a funeral ceremony in Dawei June 9, 2017.

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