An intense firefight between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and members of the Maute Group started late afternoon on Tuesday in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, amid fear of local residents that a “great war” will come to the city.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it initiated the firefight after receiving reports on the presence of armed men in the city. The intelligence community said the bandits took over Amai Pakpak Medical Hospital and hoisted the Islamic State black flag around 2:40 p.m.
People inside the hospital were able to upload photos of the terrorists who were seen blocking the gate using a police patrol car with the IS flag.
A clash erupted a few minutes later in Barangay Basak Malutlut when the bandits reportedly ambushed a responding team of military forces.
Another firefight broke out in Barangay Caloocan, with the terrorists continuously hoisting the IS flag in Marawi City “to destroy the peace-loving people of Lanao del Sur,” the local residents told The Manila Times.
The Philippine Army used ground troops with aerial support and artillery attacks, the residents said, while the IS bandits roamed the city waving the IS flag.
A report said the terorrists took over the city jail around 6 p.m.
Humanitarian groups dispatched their teams to check on the plight of civilians and the patients in the hospital.
The provincial government urged civilians to stay inside their houses.
Last week, several local residents living near the 103rd Infantry Brigade started vacating their homes after hearing rumors that the IS bandits will stage massive attacks on the city.