For The New Humanitarian: 


The black-clad police toting semi-automatic rifles barely get a glance from children glued to the TV as officers search their home in Iligan City, near besieged Marawi, where Philippine security forces have been battling Islamist militants for almost three months in clashes that have killed 562 insurgents, 168 government troops, as well as 45 civilians, according to the latest official figures.


Scenes like this have become commonplace since President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on 23 May throughout Mindanao, the southern island home to most of the country’s minority Muslims.


Mindanao is also home to an increasing number of Islamist militants, including the Maute group, which pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in 2015 and took over parts of Marawi prior to the martial law declaration. Security forces say they have since wrested back control of all but two pockets of the city and are now trying to track down Islamist fighters who may be trying to blend in with the local population.



Philippine National Police Scouts conduct a security operation in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood outside of Iligan City. 

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Police Superintendent Ga speaks with Muslim civilians in an effort to gain intelligence on Islamic militants believed to be in the area. 

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Philippine National Police set up a checkpoint on the outskirts of Iligan City.

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Philippine security forces search a home in Iligan City looking for any signs of militants just outside Marawi. 

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Philippine National Police respond to a call from concerned citizens of a neighbor suspects of having weapons. 

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After entering the home late at night, officers discovered a homemade spear in a closet and arrest a man whom they believed possessed it. 

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Philippine National Police stand outside a store where they suspect kids are breaking the curfew, imposed after Islamic militants seized control of Marawi City, about 40 miles away. 

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Officer drag a teen girl, suspected of being drunk and found to have been in violation of curfew, out of a police truck before placing her into the local jail. 

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The man suspected of owning the homemade spear is questioned by officers and community security groups about the weapon. 

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