Abducted priest seen alive as Islamists hold out in Philippines | Touch Latest Local,World,Tech,Entertainment,Health,Sport News
25 September 2017 00:00:00 AM Breaking News

• GENERAL

Abducted priest seen alive as Islamists hold out in Philippines

A Roman Catholic priest abducted by Islamist militants who seized parts of a southern Philippine city has been seen alive, the military said Monday, as troops pressed on with their offensive.

Air and artillery bombardment of enclaves occupied by the militants in the largely Muslim city of Marawi resumed after an eight-hour truce Sunday to allow residents to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fasting month.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera said the militants were deliberately burning houses and using improvised bombs, booby traps and hostages as human shields to delay the troops’ advance, five weeks into the fighting.

Hundreds of gunmen flying the black flag of the Islamic State (IS) group occupied parts of Marawi on May 23, triggering bloody fighting that has claimed nearly 400 lives according to an official count.

Father Teresito “Chito” Suganob, a Catholic priest assigned to Marawi, was taken hostage along with some parishioners early in the siege.

Herrera, spokesman for the military forces in Marawi, said the priest had been seen alive on Sunday in a part of the city still in the hands of the extremists.

“We don’t have details of his health. We were just told that he was sighted alive,” he told reporters, citing accounts from civilians rescued from the battle zone.

He also said there were about 100 civilian hostages still in the hands of the gunmen, being used as “human shields”, ammunition carriers and stretcher-bearers.

Fighting resumed with renewed fury on Monday, with government fighter jets and other aircraft seen carrying out bombing attacks.

“Our offensive operations have resumed and will continue so we can liberate Marawi at the soonest time possible,” Herrera said at a news conference in Marawi.

He said the bodies of two militants believed to be from the Middle East because of their physical features were found at the scene of an earlier airstrike, another sign that foreign fighters had joined the battle.

“These foreign terrorists involved in the hostilities are bomb experts. They are the ones facilitating the rigging of the buildings and houses with bombs,” Herrera said.

Eight foreign fighters, including those from Chechnya, Indonesia and Malaysia, were killed in the early days of the battle, the government has said.

Herrera said they were still trying to confirm reports that Isnilon Hapilon, a veteran Filipino militant said to be the leader of the Islamic State group in Southeast Asia, had escaped Marawi despite a military and police cordon.

An attempt by troops to arrest Hapilon in Marawi on May 23 triggered the rampage by the militants.

Hapilon was indicted in Washington for his involvement in the 2001 kidnapping of three Americans in the Philippines. He has a $5 million bounty on his head from the US government and is on its “most wanted” terror list.

Recommended

Loading...

Related Posts

Pirates return to Somali waters, US officials say

DJIBOUTI –  Pirates have returned to the waters off Somalia, but the sp

Read More

Strongest Soldier in the World - Diamond Ott | Muscle Madness || Touch News

Strongest Soldier in the World - Diamond Ott | Muscle Madness

Read More

Heres What 15 Relationship Experts Want to Teach You About Love

Relationships don’t look like they used to (and that's a good thing). But wh

Read More

How to Draw Better

Do you struggle to draw the simplest of shapes? Or are you a seasoned artist

Read More

Banky W Goes Back To School To Study ‘Screenwriting’

Banky W is officially a student once again.The singer will be taking a cour

Read More

30 Things You Should Never Say To A N*Ked Woman

Be informed that there are things you do not say to a n*ked woman, Here are a fe

Read More

More soldiers, ships and planes for military in Liberal defence plan

The Liberal government's new defence policy lays out a plan to increase the de

Read More

12 Signs Your Boyfriend Hates You

He Avoids Talking About the FutureIf the guy you’re seeing goes to grea

Read More

Dirty Talk 101: 10 things your partner wishes you would say

Telling your partner these five things is a sure way to spice things up in the b

Read More

Mayhen in Times Square: A vehicle struck pedestrians and later crashed

A reporter walking to work heard a couple of thuds, the sound of broken glass,mu

Read More

Also Read

Police, military shoot-out in Yobe

CrimeBREAKING:Police, military shoot-out in YobeMilitary and police men early th

Read More

Famous People Born In June

Sociability, humorousness and talkativeness are the common characteristics of

Read More

This is the most brazen act of Obamacare sabotage yet

The Trump administration has let funding for Obamacare's $63 million i

Read More

Trump and Putin Speak by Phone, Discuss Potential Personal Meeting

The Syria discussion included safe zones, something Trump has advocated for both

Read More

Magu hits Lagos as agents comb Obi’s, others’ homes

Magu hits Lagos as agents comb Obi’s, others’ homesRibadu hails anti-graft b

Read More

MSMEs: CBN deputy director meets with Bayelsa deputy governor

The Deputy Director, Central Bank of Nigeria Osita Nwanisobi says Nigeria can ac

Read More

Senate caucus applauds S’Court’s ruling on PDP leadership tussle

The Senate caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party in the national assembly has d

Read More

Etisalat Is Set To Pull Out Of Nigeria In 3 WeeksEtisalat Is Set To Pull Out Of Nigeria In 3 Weeks

Etisalat has terminated its management agreement with its Nigerian arm and has g

Read More

Agbarakwe, 2 Other Nigerians Win Crans Montana Award

The special assistant on communications and stakeholder’s engagement to the

Read More

Data Visualization Is Key To Analyzing Unstructured Data

Data visualization has evolved dramatically in recent years, with organizations

Read More