Philippines Says Death Toll in Rebel-Held Town Could Rise ‘Significantly’ — Militants allied with Islamic State using human shields

Peace and Freedom

MANILA/MARAWI CITY, Philippines — The Philippine military said on Wednesday it was likely that large numbers of civilians had been killed during the five-week occupation of a southern town by Islamist rebels, due to “atrocities” by the militants allied with Islamic State.

A toll of 27 Marawi residents killed was only what the authorities could independently confirm and a “significant number” of dead had been seen by those who had escaped fighting between insurgents and government forces, said military spokesman Restituto Padilla.

“The number you have right now is 27, (it) may increase significantly once we are able to validate all this information,” he told a news conference.

“There have been a significant number that have been seen but again, we cannot include many of these.”

He said the cause of those deaths would be “atrocities committed by the terrorists”.

Among those…

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