MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman says he has declared martial rule in the country’s south for 60 days and will cut short a trip to Moscow and return home to deal with an attack by Muslim extremists allied with the Islamic State group who laid siege to a southern city.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters in Moscow that the martial law took effect Tuesday evening.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said troops raided the hideout of a top terrorist suspect in southern Marawi city, sparking a gunbattle that prompted the militants to call for reinforcements.
Officials said the gunmen occupied the city hall, a hospital and a jail and burned several houses in a daring attack.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.