>> After a week of deadly clashes with Islamist militants in the southern Philippines, military officials on Monday say, they're afraid that rebels are sneaking out of the besieged city of Marawi. At least 85 people have been killed in the fighting including civilians, and Islamic State linked gunmen and snipers are still holed up in buildings, fighting off commandos.
The chaos has driven most of Marawi's 200,000 people away and into neighboring towns. As Tom Alder reports, Philippine forces are now hunting for extremists who may be going under cover.>> There are fears that as the battle continues, as the military makes gains, that some of the Islamic State-affiliated fighters are now leaving the city and may be trying to join the evacuees.
So security is being stepped up in a big way, in all the villages and towns, and cities that surround Marawi amid fears that one, the fighters might be escaping and two, they might try and cause some damage in other areas.>> Reports of foreign fighters among the rebels are stocking fears Islamic State is pushing for a foothold in the Philippines and that the siege at Marawi was a long time in the making.
>> Really in the last 6 months, maybe 12 months, we've seen these forces who've traditionally lived in the jungle areas around Marawi. Had began to trickle into the city, as their jungle camps are getting bombed by the Philippines military. And so, over a month they've built up a presence there as they brought a lot of weapons here, they continue to recruit, and of course, they attracted a lot of foreign fighters here, as well.
And that allowed them to, I guess, build the critical to lay siege to Marawi.>> Although, the majority of Marawi's residents have managed to escape, officials say thousands are stranded, worried they may run into militant checkpoints if they try to flee. That appears to have been the fate of eight civilians whose bodies were found in a ditch outside town on Sunday.
The army says it's possible that even more atrocities have taken place.