Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Key facts about a tumultuous Tuesday in Marawi City

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 24): Key facts about a tumultuous Tuesday in Marawi City

Illustration by Rene Elevera

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Illustration by Rene Elevera
What we now know (and who told us):

  • At about 2 pm on Tuesday, May 23, combined government forces raided a house in Marawi City where Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was believed to be hiding. (Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año, 1st Infantry Division spokesperson Col. Jo-ar Herrera)
  • Hapilon’s forces fought back, and called for reinforcements from the Maute Group, a relatively new grouping inspired by or sympathetic to the Islamic State. The Maute Group is believed to be responsible for the bombing of the night market in Davao City last September, which killed 15 people. (Lorenzana, Año)
  • In all, about 50 gunmen fought against government troops. (Año)
  • The gun battles turned into a virtual siege, with the Maute Group occupying several facilities, including a government hospital, city hall, the city jail, and parts of the Mindanao State University campus. (Lorenzana, Año, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla)
  • “Sporadic firefights” continued into the night. (Padilla)
  • Fires also raged in parts of the city, affecting a church, two schools and the jail. The electricity supply was cut off. (Lorenzana, Año)
  • At least one policeman and two soldiers were killed, while 12 other government troops sustained wounds. Many members of the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute were also reported killed. (Various AFP sources)
  • The extended city fighting prompted President Duterte to declare martial law in all of Mindanao, for a period of 60 days. The declaration took effect at 10 pm. (Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella)
  • The President also cut short his official visit to Russia; he is expected to arrive back in Manila at 5 pm on Wednesday. (Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Palace sources)

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