Philippines: Marawi, a year after Islamist siege, 50,000 still in temporary shelter

Street in battle-scarred Marawi in a still taken from a video.
 People in the battle-scarred Southern Philippines city of Marawi are trying to rebuild their homes and lives one year after the place was stormed by Islamist militants. On 23 May 2017, militants belonging to the Maute group, an affiliate of Islamic State, took over Marawi. In what followed, five . . . Read More

Marawi’s rebuilding yet to start, despite warning that defeating extremism depends on it

Marawi’s rebuilding yet to start, despite warning that defeating extremism depends on it
Four months after the battle ended over the southern Philippines city of Marawi, Muslim leaders have called on people to stop posting divisive information on social media. Rumours were spread via social media in recent weeks, saying that the Catholic cathedral, which was severely damaged during the conflict last year, . . . Read More

Philippines: Marawi liberated but root cause of extremism remains

Soldiers on a military vehicle are seen on liberated but battle damaged street in Marawi City on 17 October. (Photo: Getty Images)
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared “Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence” on Tuesday (17 October) after the military killed two of the ring leaders behind the five-month assault on the city, but a religious freedom expert has warned the “killing of militant leaders does not destroy the fighters behind . . . Read More

Philippines: Islamic group vows to help Catholics with Marawi’s rebuilding

The siege of the city of Marawi in Mindanao by Islamists one year ago, displaced many people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A programme launched by the Catholic Church, aimed at rebuilding the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines after months of fighting between Islamist groups and the military, has received support from the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. According to AsiaNews, the rebel group is . . . Read More

Philippines: Catholic priest free but over 40 hostages still held in Marawi

Members of the Philippine army are clearing Marawi City of the last fighters of the insurgent Maute group. (Photo: Getty Images)
Catholic Filipino priest Teresito “Chito” Suganob may have been freed, but the war in the southern city of Marawi is not over yet, as 40 hostages are still being held by militants in the city, while almost half a million Marawi residents are internally displaced. Father Suganob arrived in the . . . Read More

Filipino priest Teresito Suganob free after 4 months as hostage

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob in a still taken from a video shortly after his release.
Catholic Filipino priest Teresito “Chito” Suganob is finally free, having been held hostage by Islamic State-linked militants for almost four months in the war-torn city of Marawi. According to The New York Times, the priest was rescued late on Saturday (16 September) by the Philippines military, as it moved closer . . . Read More

Fate of kidnapped Philippines priest – 57 today – ‘uncertain’

Catholic Priest Suganob is spending his 57th birthday in captivity, held by the Maute terrorist group in Marawi, Philippines. (Photo: still taken from a 'propaganda' video released by the kidnappers)
The fate of the kidnapped Filipino priest Teresito “Chito” Suganob – 57 today – has “become uncertain”, as the battle for the southern city of Marawi continues, according to the Catholic news agency UCAN. In June, World Watch Monitor reported that Father Suganob – who was abducted by the Maute . . . Read More

Philippines reconsiders bill for autonomous Bangsamoro

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) shakes hands with Al-Hajj Murad (L), chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as Ghazali Jaafar (R), vice chairman of MILF, looks on during a ceremony where a draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was submitted to the president at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on July 17, 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)
A new law that will govern the creation of a new autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines was submitted as a bill to the government on Monday (July 17) for approval by Congress. President Rodrigo Duterte received the draft “Bangsamoro Basic Law” (BBL), crafted by a 21-member commission that . . . Read More

Islamic State in Asia: what you need to know

Islamic State in Asia: what you need to know
When Islamic State (IS) launched its so-called caliphate in 2014 it had seized territory in Iraq and Syria. However over the last 18 months, militants claiming allegiance to the group have carried out attacks in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, while the group also has sympathisers in India . . . Read More