Philippines: Crisis in Marawi City

On 23rd May 2017, nearly 50 gunmen from the Maute Group, supporters of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), entered Marawi City, in Southern Philippines. The government launched a military and law enforcement operation in Marawi City and the President of the Philippines later put the whole island of Mindanao under martial law up to a maximum of 60 days. This escalated to a deadly firefight between government troops and combined forces of Islamic extremists. After nearly two weeks of urban warfare now, a number of affected population were forced to flee and seek refuge to nearby towns and provinces such as Iligan City, Lanao del Norte and Cagayan de Oro.  According to a report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), on 1st June 2017, over 100,000 [1] people or half of the total population of Marawi are displaced (86% staying outside evacuation centres or with relatives and friends) and the number of displaced people is continually increasing. In addition, the deaths of soldiers take the number of security force members killed to 39, with 19 civilians and 120 rebel fighters killed in the Marawi battles[2].