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Indonesia rife with ISIS sleeper cells, says military chief

Indonesia rife with ISIS sleeper cells, says military chief

The Islamic State militant group has a presence in almost all provinces across Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, the military chief in Jakarta has said.

Bomb blasts rocked Marawi City in the southern Philippines on Monday (June 12) as the national flag was raised to mark independence day, nearly three weeks after hundreds of Islamist militants overran the town and hunkered down with civilians as human shields.

While the flag-raising was mainly to mark Independence Day, it also symbolized the reclaiming of city hall and other areas of Marawi by government forces.

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Duterte did not say how he knew that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had given instructions for the attack on Marawi.

"At the request of the government of the Philippines, U.S. special operations forces are assisting the [Filipino military] with ongoing operations in Marawi", the embassy said.

Philippines laws provide that the President of the Republic will serve as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the country and as commander-in-chief.

Casiple said that he sees nothing wrong with the participation of the USA military in Marawi.

Philippines armed forces have used OV-10 light attack aircraft to carry out bombardments against the IS-linked Maute group.

Cayetano added the Philippines, which has worked with Malaysia and Indonesia to drive out pirates and kidnappers from waters near Western Mindanao and Borneo Island, wants to cooperate with both countries to prevent terror threats from spreading.

ILIGAN, Philippines-American spy planes are helping Filipino troops quell a almost three-week siege by Muslim militants in a southern city where 13 Philippine marines were killed in the biggest single-day loss for government forces, officials said Saturday.

They were utilized by the USA to overthrow regimes in Middle East and countries that are no longer allies and run counter to its imperialist interests, similar to what the United States did in Libya, the NDFP-Mindanao said.

President Rodrigo Duterte believes that Marawi is part of a broader ISIS plot to secure an unshakable foothold in Southeast Asia.

Asked to comment on how much of the lakeside town was still occupied as the siege entered its fourth week, Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, head of military command in Western Mindanao, told Reuters it was 20%.

"Maybe it will be under military control within a week, or maybe a few days but it is not going to solve the problem", Sidney Jones, the director of Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, told AAP last week.

He noted that General Order No. 1, dated May 23, designated the defense secretary as martial law administrator and the AFP chief as the martial law implementor. The country has maintained military personnel in Mindanao since 2002 to train local troops in counterterrorism operations.

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