Philippines' Duterte orders military to "crush", "pulverize" terror groups

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-06 22:58:43|Editor: yan
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MANILA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military on Tuesday to "crush" and "pulverize" terror groups in the southern Philippines.

"I am ordering you to crush and pulverize the enemy. When I say crush them you have to destroy everything including lives," Duterte said in a speech before the troops in Carmen town in North Cotabato province.

Duterte reiterated that he has no plan of negotiating with the militants operating in the country to establish a caliphate on Mindanao island. "There will be no peace talks," he said.

On May 23, heavily-armed militants attacked Marawi, a city of about 200,000 people, when the military was searching for a leader of Abu Sayyaf hidden in the city.

The troops launched a counter-offensive that resulted in a series of clashes.

The military said there are still an estimated 500 civilians trapped in the city.

Much of the city's center has been destroyed as airstrikes continued to flush out about 100 militants, including foreign IS cadres.

Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon is reportedly working with the Maute group to establish a "wilayat" or caliphate of IS in Lanao del Sur.

The ongoing clashes in the city forced Duterte to place the entire Mindanao region under martial law.