US forces back Philippine troops in Islamist held city

US forces back Philippine troops in Islamist held cityUnited States special forces are providing support to the Philippine military battling to dislodge Islamist militants in a southern city, the US embassy said Saturday, as 13 Filipino marines were killed in fresh fighting. Philippine troops are struggling to defeat hundreds of fighters, who rampaged through Marawi on May 23 flying black flags of the Islamic State (IS) group, and have used civilians as human shields, bomb-proof tunnels and anti-tank weapons to fortify their positions. Friday’s ferocious, street-to-street gunbattles with the militants saw 13 troops killed, in a dramatic surge in the toll from the conflict, Philippine military spokesmen said.



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