Some two weeks after ISIS-backed militants took control Marawi city leading Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law on the island of Mindanao, the violence appears to be far from over. On May 23, Duterte placed the 22 million residents of Mindanao under military rule for at least the 60 days, after a raid to capture a terror suspect in the city failed, causing violence to erupt and Muslim extremists to siege the city.
Once a thriving metropolis, reports indicate that Marawi is nearly uninhabitable, with corpses strewn throughout the streets and armed militants threatening the lives of those who remain. Jihadists seized at least one Catholic church in the city, taking a priest and parishioners hostage.
A new video released by Islamic State news outlet Amaq appears to show a Catholic church in the city being crudely defaced and ultimately destroyed. In the video (which can be viewed HERE), armed men are seen smashing religious statues, knocking over a crucifix, and ripping up a photo of Pope Francis before setting the building on fire.
Screenshots from the video below:
The footage comes on the heels of video released last week, which shows a man who appears to be captive Rev. Fr. Teresito Suganob of St. Mary church pleading with the Filipino government to end the conflict.
WATCH: Father Teresito “Chito” Suganob na bihag ng Maute may panawagan para kay Pres. Duterte
Posted by Bisaya News on Monday, May 29, 2017
“Mr. President, we are in the midst of this war. We are asking your help to please give what your enemies are asking for,” the priest says, noting that his captors want Duterte to withdraw forces “from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City” and to halt air attacks.
“They just ask that you leave this place peacefully. Do not give so much attack,” he continues. ““We want to live another day, we want to live another month, we want to live a few years. And in your generosity, Mr. President, in your heart, we know you can make something.”
(h/t New York Post)
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