Philippine marines killed in fighting with militants

Philippine marines killed in fighting with militants

The Philippines military suffered its biggest one-day loss on Friday since 10 troops were killed in a friendly-fire incident on June 1. An AP journalist reportedly saw a US Navy P3 Orion plane hovering in the skies above Marawi on Friday.

The military has asked Facebook Philippines "to conduct necessary measures to take down these fake accounts", Herrera added.

Philippine army spokesman Brig Gen Restituto Padilla Jr has vowed that the national flag will be flying once again over all of Marawi by Monday - the Philippine national day.

"We are saddened with the result.We have fatalities on the government side", he said.

The Philippines military said the United States was providing technical assistance to end the siege of Marawi City by fighters allied to Islamic State, which is now in its third week, but it had no boots on the ground.

"We are still validating those reports but there are strong indications", he said. Some 40 marines were wounded in the gunbattles that lasted 14 hours, according to military spokesman Colonel Edgardo Arevalo.

Since the violence erupted on 23 May, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Marawi, parts of which have been reduced to rubble by fighting and government airstrikes.

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He said: "It instead primed up our determination to continue our prudent advances to neutralise the enemy, save the innocent lives trapped in the fight, and set the conditions for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi".

Maute's husband, Cayamora, was arrested at a police checkpoint in the southern city of Davao on Tuesday. "They are just providing technical support".

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered martial rule in the region for at least 60 days in an attempt to crush Muslim extremists who have aligned themselves with the Islamic State (ISIS).

Military officials in the country said that a United States Navy aircraft provided surveillance for the local troops as the battle continued in Marawi on Friday.

Associated Press writer Jim Gomez and photographer Aaron Favila contributed to this report.

Days before the USA embassy issued its statement, Herrera had already confirmed that the U.S. was providing "techical assistance" to Philippine troops battling local terrorists in Marawi City.

Philippine troops have been battling the Maute group, which claims allegiance with Islamic State, in Marawi for more than two weeks.

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