Hundreds of civilians still being held hostage in Philippines' Marawi

Fighting erupted in Marawi after a bungled raid aimed at capturing Isnilon Hapilon, whom Daesh proclaimed as its "emir" of Southeast Asia last year after he pledged allegiance to the group.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Soldiers stand guard along the main street of Mapandi village as government troops continue their assault on insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, Philippines June 2, 2017.

The Philippines army is in the middle of one of its largest ever military campaigns. 

It is fighting against a militant group that has pledged allegiance to Daesh. 

Nearly 200 people have been killed so far, and more than 170,000 have fled their homes. 

Officials have said that among the several hundred militants who seized the town on May 23 there were about 40 foreigners from neighbouring Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as India, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Chechnya.

Progress in the military campaign has been slow because hundreds of civilians are still trapped or being held hostage in the urban heart of the town.

TRT World's Shamim Chowdhury has more from inside the city of Marawi.

TRTWorld and agencies