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Philippines — ISIS savages have cut the heads off of 5 civilians in a Philippine city occupied by the Islamist rebels on Wednesday. The military is warning that the number of residents killed by rebel “atrocities” could rise sharply as troops retake more ground.

The discovery of the five victims among 17 bodies retrieved would be the first evidence that civilians trapped in besieged Marawi City have been decapitated during the five-week stand by militants loyal to the Islamic State group, as some who escaped the city have previously reported, Reuters reported.

Some 71 security forces and 299 militants have been killed and 246,000 people displaced in the conflict, which erupted after a failed attempt on May 23 to arrest a Filipino militant commander backed by Islamic State’s leadership.

President Rodrigo Duterte promised to destroy the militants in Marawi and said the Philippines was now dealing with “a very dangerous situation” due to young Muslims inspired by the “mass insanity” of Islamic State.

“All they do is just to kill and destroy, and killing in a most brutal way,” he said at an event where he received hundreds of sniper and assault rifles donated by China to help the military campaign in Marawi.

“They enjoy decapitating people in front of cameras. They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality,” he said.

The information about the beheadings came via a text message to reporters from Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Garcia of the Western Mindanao Command. Garcia did not respond to repeated requests for details.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law for 60 days across the southern third of the nation — home to 22 million people — and vowed to take tough action.

“We are in a state of emergency,” Duterte said Wednesday after he cut short a trip to Moscow and flew back to Manila. “I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere.”

He threatened to extend it to the whole country “in order to protect the people.”

“If I think that ISIS has taken a foothold also in Luzon, and terrorism is not really far behind, I might declare martial law throughout the country,” Duterte said.

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Source- AFF

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