Philippine soldiers participate in a raid in Marawi city, Mindanao (Source: EPA/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine military said that they killed three Malaysians, an Indonesian and possibly Arab extremists in Marawi City in Mindanao during fighting when Islamic fighters planned to destroy the entire city in a plot to gain influence for the self-claimed Islamic State group.

Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Eduardo Año was quoted by AP news agency as saying that the military has made advances in containing the weeklong siege of Marawi.

He said a top Filipino militant is believed to have been killed during the fight.

Government forces now control about 70 percent of the southern city, while some insurgents are still hiding here and there.

The violence in the city erupted on May 23 as security forces raided on the suspected house of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf group and leader of a branch of the IS group in the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte has imposed martial law in Mindanao to mid-July.

Marawi has about 200,000 people, but thousands of them have evacuated due to the recent unrest. -VNA