Philippines: Battles against Islamist militants have displaced 400, 000 people

Peace and Freedom

© AFP | Philippine troops ride on their truck on their way to the frontline in the outskirts of Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, on June 28, 2017
MANILA (AFP) – Islamist militants occupying a southern Philippine city have forced nearly 400,000 people in the wider area to flee their homes, officials said Saturday, while warning of disease outbreaks and psychological trauma among refugees.

The city of Marawi, considered the Muslim capital of the largely Catholic Philippines, has been reduced to a ghost town after self-styled followers of the Islamic State movement launched an assault on the city on May 23.

For more than a month, the government has deployed jet fighters, attack helicopters and armoured vehicles to crush the militants who are members of the so-called Maute group.

The fighting has left over 400 people dead, while the Maute fighters still control parts of the city, using snipers…

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