ISIS thugs in the Philippines TORCH a Catholic Church

Authorities insisted the gunman, whom they said had committed suicide inside the leisure complex, was a robber, not a terrorist. The running gun battle has also displaced thousands of residents.

An early morning attack today (June 2) that killed 36 at Manila World Resort casino in northern Philippines is not considered a terrorist attack, Philippine police told the Associated Press.

"That's why they were able to muster the operations in the area of Marawi", David said.

A four-hour ceasefire to evacuate residents was marred by gunfire on Sunday, leaving hundreds of civilians who had hoped to flee the fighting stuck in their homes.

"There are places which we use as passageways to enemy territory - when we reach those areas, sometimes we see old people who are weak, can not move on their own, because of lack of food", he said. Some of the civilians were stopped and asked if there were any Christians among them, said Jaime Daligdig, a Christian construction worker.

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Lorenzana said there might have been other foreign fighters killed in the battle. He said Islamist militants being driven out of Iraq and Syria were looking for a new base and the siege of Marawi was planned a long time ago. "So, until such time that every member of this armed group, this rebellion group that still want to make a stand inside Marawi exists, we can not totally say we have cleared", Padilla said.

The initiative was reached upon by the government, led by Bangsamoro Peace Panel Chairman Irene M. Santiago, with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, considered the country's most dominant Islamic rebel group, with Central Mindanao, where Marawi City is located, known as its bailiwick.

"If theres open defiance, you will die", Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has told the militants.

The violence in Marawi began last month when the army failed in its attempt to capture Isnilon Hapilon, believed to be the main IS leader in the Philippines and linked to the local Maute group, who have declared allegiance to IS.

The Philippines military said Hapilon was likely wounded in the raids but managed to escape to Marawi, where he joined up with the Maute group.

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The military has said 20 civilians have been killed in the fighting and that all were at the hands of the militants.

The same extremist group claims it is responsible for the kidnapping of as many as 240 Catholics, including Father Teresito "Chito" Suganob, the priest who appeared in a recently released video in which he listed off the names of other "prisoners of war" who were captured by the militants.

"It's a humanitarian pause", Padilla said, adding it is a lull period coordinated with the State's armed forces as approved by the chief of staff.

Marawi officials estimate that about 2,000 residents remained trapped in their houses and many have run out of food and water. "When I got the text, immediately we go out. about 7 o'clock".

Maute fighters and other bandits in Marawi City are using civilians as human shields as government forces gain ground in the campaign to drive them out of the city, a military spokesperson said Thursday.

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"I nearly puked as we were walking", Lucman said, estimating that there were more than 1,000 dead.

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