Philippines President declares martial law in Mindanao amid clashes

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Manila [Philippines], May 24 (ANI): Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in entire southern region of Mindanao following deadly clashes erupting between government troops and Islamist militants on Tuesday, local media reports said. Duterte had to curtail his visit to Russia over the situation in the southern province of Mindanao. The state-run Philippines News Agency quoted Duterte's spokesman Ernesto Abella as saying that the martial law will be in effect for 60 days to suppress lawless violence and rebellion and for public safety. Two soldiers and a police officer were killed during the clashes between government forces and the Maute group, an Islamist militant organisation based in Mindanao. Terrorism has been a persistent problem in the southern Philippines, where Maute and militant group Abu Sayyaf are based. (ANI)