>> Islamist militants cling to the heart of Marowi in the southern Philippines on Wednesday as an ongoing battle with the Army enters its ninth day. Manilla deploying close air support planes to flush out fighters from the Maute group linked to Islamic State. So far, 130 people have been killed, a sign experts say that the once obscure extremist group is now better funded and organized.
Philippines Bureau Chief Martin Petty says that's come as a shock to the Army.>> The military has maintained it's in control of the situation throughout, but after more than a week of fierce fighting, that's starting to ring a little bit hollow. It seems the rebels have a strategy from the outset, among the first targets when they laid siege to Marawi was to take control of the police station, police vehicles, detention centers and steal weapons and ammunition.
They also freed some of their former fighters from jail s o they could join their ranks.>> Maute's fighting strength has set up alarm bells in Philippines, amid fears that Marawi's siege is just the beginning of more ISIS-linked violence.>> The authorities believe that there's an ulterior motive with this siege, that this might be the Maute group's sales pitch to Islamic State in the Middle East.
The military believes the rebels will fight to the death to protect a man believed to be inside Marawi named Isnilon Hapilon, a so called emir in southeast Asia. He's central to any efforts by the group to expand it's movement within this region.>> President Rodrigo Duterte has declared Martial Law in the island of Mindanao where Marawi is located.
He's even asked other separatist groups to unite against the spread of radical Islam, and that's proved to be a good call. At least one group has agreed to help the military move civilians both dead and alive out of Marawi.