Clashes erupt in Marawi City Tuesday afternoon, May 23. At the end of the day, President Rodrigo Duterte declares martial law in all of Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines (May 24, 2017) — Residents of Marawi City were jolted by loud explosions Tuesday afternoon, May 23, when clashes erupted between the military and local terrorist groups.
The situation worsened as fires broke out, power was cut, and clashes continued. At the end of the night, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in all of Mindanao.
The military said it is running after “high value targets” who are contained in the military’s area of operations in the vicinity of Barangay Malutlut, a commercial and residential area between the Mindanao State University and the city center.
Incidents in the vicinity of the city center are supposedly perpetrated by sympathizers of the terrorists the military is hunting down.
Here’s a timeline of events that happened on Tuesday. The military said they are deploying more troops to control the situation on the ground.
2 pm The military launched a surgical strike in barangay Basak Malutlut against “high value targets” belonging to the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Maute Group after receiving reports from the community about the presence of up to 15 suspicious armed men in the village.
Clashes erupted while the troops were approaching the target area.
Residents took to social media to report loud explosions and the presence of soldiers and suspected Maute members on the streets.
5 pm Maute members reportedly occupied Amai Pakpak Medical Center, a public hospital in Marawi City.
6 pm Residents reported on social media that Marawi City Jail is under siege. Fire broke out at the facility early evening on Tuesday.
7 pm The military confirmed that at least 5 soldiers were wounded as pursuit operations continued.
8 pm The police confirmed one cop was killed in clashes with the Maute Group.
8 pm onwards. Two other fires broke out in Dansalan College and Saint Mary’s Church.
10:30 pm The military told Rappler that pursuit operations continue against the high value targets. Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesman of the 1st Infantry Division, said the targets are contained in the military’s area of operations. He said the fires were perpetrated by sympathizers.
11:30 pm From Russia, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the whole of Mindanao. The country’s top security and military officials are with him in his state visit to Russia. Not long after, Malacañang announced Duterte was cutting short his Russia trip and is flying back home immediately.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they need the power to control the movement of threat groups, conduct searches, and make arrests.