Philippine soldiers in Marawi city (Photo: VNA)
 
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine government will continue its policy of no negotiation with Islamic State (IS)–linked militant groups which are holed up in the southern city of Marawi, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said at a press conference on June 27. 

The spokesperson said the government, military and political leaders refused to sanction the talks initiated by the Islamic militant groups on June 25 to negotiate for the release of 150 hostages in Marawi during the Eid-al-Fitr festival.

He stressed that the government will punish the extremists who have caused disorder in southern Philippines and forced 200,000 civilians to flee. 

Abella added that as many as 387 people were killed in battles between the military and militant groups, including 290 terrorists, 70 soldiers and 27 civilians. 

Over 200,000 locals have been evacuated to Iligan city and neighbouring localities in Lanao del Sur. 

Meanwhile, the military is trying to clear Marawi city of the remaining militants and rescue residents who are being held hostage. -VNA