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NINE Christians shot dead by sick ISIS militants as they take Catholic priest hostage during horrific attack in the Philippines

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By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
5/25/2017 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

President Duterte declares martial law.

ISIS ally group has captured a Catholic priest and a group of innocent church-goers and burned down a Catholic cathedral in the Philippines.

Hundreds of people sought shelter in a military camp during the militant raids. [Photo by: Reuters]

Hundreds of people sought shelter in a military camp during the militant raids. [Photo by: Reuters]

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Around 100 militants moved through the southern Philippines city of Marawi on Tuesday and Wednesday. While they were there, they beheaded the police, burned buildings, raised their black flag and captured the hostages.

According to the Daily Mail, the rebels are planning on using the hostages as human shields.

"He was not a combatant. He was not bearing arms. He was a threat to none," Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines expressed of the priest and the other hostages. "His capture and that of his companions violate every norm of civilized conflict."


"They want a ceasefire and for the military to give them access out of Marawi. Otherwise, they will kill the hostages," Bishop Edwin de la Pena of Marawi told CBCP News, noting his secretary was among the taken, and he was allowed to speak with Fr. Chito Suganob.

News of the Catholic hostages comes after reports broke stating the ISIS-aligned militants captured nine Christians, tied their hands together and shot them dead after they identified as Christians.

"People are afraid. They do not want to open establishments. Offices are closed. We do not want people to be used as human shields," Marawi mayor Majul Usman Gandamra said, according to the Daily Mail.

The majority of Philippines are Catholic, however, in Marawi they make up only a small percent of the people. Marawi is a mostly Muslim city. The Maute group is named responsible for this recent attack, according to Catholic News Agency.

They are one of the dozens of new Muslim groups who have pledged allegiance to ISIS.

In response to the recent attacks by the terrorist groups, Philippine president Duterte declared martial law in this part of the country and had expressed possible intentions to extend it to more parts of the country if the terrorists seek safety elsewhere.


"The military is conducting precise, surgical operations to flush them out ... The situation is very fluid, and movements are dynamic because we wanted to out-step and out-manoeuvre them," explained Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesman for the military's First Infantry Regiment.

The Filipino Catholic bishops urge all to pray for the safety of the hostages.

"We call on the Maute group that claims to bear arms in the name of a Merciful and Benevolent God - the very same God we Christians worship and adore - to do the One God true honor by the mercy and benevolence that are two of our God's most exalted attributes," prayed Archbishop Villegas.

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