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Kidnapped Marawi priest says 240 civilians held hostage by terrorists




PANOORIN: Father Teresito SoganubFATHER HUMINGI NG TULONG KAY PRES DUTERTE"Mr President, we are in the midst of this war. We are asking your help to please give what your enemies are asking for. They simply are not asking for anything – just to withdraw your forces away from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, and to stop the air strikes, your air attacks, and to stop the cannons,"

Posted by isoytv on Dienstag, 30. Mai 2017

 

Maute terrorists released a video today (Tuesday, May 30) showing kidnapped priest Father Teresito Soganub relaying his captors’ demand that government forces withdraw from Marawi City.

In the five-minute clip that has been shared to Facebook, the priest says he is just one of “about 240” civilians being held as “prisoners of war” by the jihadis.

“Mr President, we are in the midst of this war. We are asking your help to please give what your enemies are asking for.

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“They simply are not asking for anything – just to withdraw your forces away from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, and to stop the air strikes, your air attacks, and to stop the cannons,” Fr. Soganub said.

It is not known what level of pressure was placed on the priest to make the statement, nor exactly when it was filmed. However, his statement that the area had been a “victim of heavy gunfire for seven days” suggests it is very recent.

Clashes between government forces and terrorists erupted last Tuesday (May 23) after a failed raid to capture the regional leader, or ‘emir’, of the Islamic State (IS) who was being harboured by the Maute terror group in the city.

Isnilon Hapilon, who is also a leader of Abu Sayyaf and has a $5 million FBI bounty on his head, remains at large.

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Intelligence suggests he was working to unite the various islamist forces of the Philippines under the black flag of IS. The chaos that ensued after the raid, and the presence of foreign jihadists in the city, suggests he may have made some progress to this end.

Fr. Soganub and up to 14 members of his congregation were taken hostage just hours after the raid. The whereabouts and welfare of the hostages are unknown. Other hostages, according to the video, include teachers, church workers, children and youths.

In the video, Soganub continued: “We are victims. Do not be happy, Mr President, that we are the collateral damage of war.

“Do not use violence, because your enemies, they are ready to die for their religion. They are ready to die that their laws will be followed.

“Mr President, you are from Mindanao. You know the conflict in Mindanao. You know the problem in Mindanao.

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“I hope, Mr President, you understand them. I am also saying these things, Mr President, because you know the history.”

At the end of the video, the camera pans around the surrounding area to show the level of destruction in the city.

The chaos in Marawi prompted the president to declare martial law throughout the island of Mindanao, which is home to more than 20 million people. He has also said he may extend military rule to the entire country if violence spreads.

An army spokesman said yesterday that they had “complete control” over the city, but also admitted that terrorists were still at large and maintaining pockets of resistance.

Today, in a further sign that the crisis is far from over, police chief Ronald dela Rosa confirmed that terrorists had captured a special forces tank.



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