Philippines extends martial law as two-month city siege continues

Philippines extends martial law as two-month city siege continues

Politicians in the Philippines have overwhelmingly approved extending martial law in the south until the end of the year amid a massive offensive to combat a two-month siege.

House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said senators and House members voted 261-18 in favour of granting President Rodrigo Duterte's request in a special joint session on Saturday.

The military chief of staff warned during the session that, aside from the siege by Islamic State group-linked militants in Marawi, extremists can stage similar attacks in other southern cities.

Since the Marawi fighting began on May 23, at least 428 militants, 105 soldiers and police and 45 civilians have been killed.

Half a million residents have been displaced.

AP

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