Maute jihadists, affiliates of the Islamic State terrorist group, have been targeting Christians in Marawi City on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.
The terrorists are currently in conflict with the Philippines Army. Soldiers from the army have even reported finding at least five bodies decapitated by the Maute jihadists.
The Christian Post reports that Christians and other civilians in Mawai City are trapped while the conflict goes on. Reports have emerged that Christians are especially being targeted by the terrorists and are being used as sex slaves and human shields.
Although the Maute jihadists do not control much ground, they reportedly are holding about 100 Christians hostage. Some hostages have been able to escape and have reported on the hostage situation.
Authorities report that at least 44 civilians have been killed in the conflict, in addition to 71 security forces and 299 jihadists. Also, 246,000 people have been displaced.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called the jihadists “dogs of hell” and condemned their attacks. Some have called on the president to intervene to rescue the hostages.
One hostage, Roman Catholic priest Teresito Soganub, appeared in a video last month begging the president to intervene. Soganub has not been heard from since the video, and his fate, along with the other 100 or so hostages, remains uncertain.
Photo: Philippine security forces breaking through a door as they inspect inside empty houses within the vicinity of a military camp and a hospital for guns and ammunition which the enemy might use against them, on June 7, 2017 in Marawi city, Philippines. Now entering its third week, the battle for control over Marawi city between government forces and militant Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups continues inside the Islamic city in Mindanao, southern Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao right after the militants rampaged through Marawi city, which is home to some 200,000 people.
Photo courtesy: Jes Aznar
Publication date: June 28, 2017