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>> A warning for militants from Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, on Wednesday saying, he plans to crackdown hard on the Maute Islamist group after declaring martial law on the southern island of Mindanao. A day earlier, clashes with the group left two soldiers and a policeman dead in the City of Marawi.
Maute has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, and witnesses say they have seized control of the city. Now, Duterte says the island of 22 million people could stay under army rule for a year, if necessary. And the martial law will resemble the tough rule of 1970s dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
As Reuters Manny Mogato explains, that's a dark tone to strike for Muslims in the south.>> I don't think this is a very popular move because the Muslims in Mindanao are worried that the declaration of martial law would mean human rights abuses, which they experienced during the Marcos period.
But many in the capital, Manila, the people are welcoming it because that will mean an end to the problems in the south.>> Duterte has long threatened martial law to destroy Filipino Islamist groups, and insists Islamic State is trying to gain a foothold in the Philippines through groups like Maute.
>> The Maute group is probably the most educated, most organized, and highly-sophisticated Islamist militant group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. This led by two brothers who were both trained in the Middle East. Most of their recruits are younger students from the university around Mindanao State University in Marawi City, their stronghold.
And they have foreign connections, which make them the most dangerous group in the south today.>> The Filipino military has urged the public in Mindanao not to be alarmed if they spot checkpoints and soldiers in the streets. The military denies ISIS has a presence in the country, and says Maute's violence is designed to gain Islamic State's favor.