Trump said to praise 'great job' in Philippine drugs fight

According to security services, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group, Isnilon Hapilon, is among those blocked in the apartment.

The UN regards Hapilon as one of the world's most unsafe terrorists, offering a US$5 million bounty for his capture.

"I hope China solves the problem".

In his arrival speech, Duterte reiterated that he will deal with the militants "harshly" after declaring martial law.

"I will not hesitate to do anything and everything to protect and preserve the Filipino nation", the president said. "We have a relationship with the Philippines; there's radical Islamic terrorist groups over there that we're actually in a fight with". If there's an open defiance, you will die.

The controversial leader who's been brutal in his drug crackdown, promised that law-abiding citizens had nothing to worry about and that he wouldn't allow abuses, AP reports.

Duterte placed all of Mindanao's 27 provinces and 33 cities, roughly a third of the country, under martial law for a period of 60 days.

The gunmen also took hostage a Catholic priest and several other civilians from the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians, according to Archbishop Socrates Villages, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.

Before leaving for Manila from Moscow, he said he managed to set a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he said had to fly back to Moscow from another region in Russia, supposedly for a 15-minute meeting but lasted for about an hour and half.

"Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that".

Despite his tough stance against lawless violence, the President said he was willing to go to Marawi City and talk to the rebels. "They want a ceasefire and for the military to give them access out of Marawi".

"Fighting terrorism does not need the declaration of martial law, because our existing laws are more than enough to enforce it", said Aiyub. Islamic State has been making troubling inroads in Mindanao in recent years, seeking to co-opt homegrown militant factions that have long roiled the island-and that should cause no less concern than Duterte's excesses.

Abdullah was a leader of the Abu Sayyaf group and brought with him hundreds of fighters.

Sources said the presence of the Maute Group was monitored in at least 11 of the total 96 barangays in Marawi namely; Barangays Bangon, Saber, Tuca, Banggolo, Naga, Monkado Colony, Caloocan, Marinaut, Mapandi, Matampay, and Basak Malutlot.

In October 2016, as the USA and Philippines were launching joint military exercises in Manila, Duterte threatened that it would be the last time his nation joined the US for such maneuvers. "The Mautes are embedded in the population". He said the priest and the hostages had no involvement in the conflict between the military and the militants.

The group was blamed for a September 2016 bombing that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, the president's hometown.

Last month, troops backed by airstrikes killed dozens of Maute militants and captured their jungle camp near Lanao del Sur's Piagapo town.

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