Philippine soldiers patrolled after Marawi was liberated on October 17 (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) support the extension of martial law in the southern region of Mindanao to address security threats, said AFP spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla.

Speaking at a recent press briefing, Padilla stressed the need for the extension of the martial law as extremists who survived the Marawi siege are recruiting more members and violence is increasing.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police and Army had recommended President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law for one year.

The President declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23 to quell the IS-inspired Maute group after it attacked Marawi city.

It is set to expire on December 31. If Duterte is to follow the recommendation of the police and military, he will have to ask the Congress to approve the extension.

The Marawi conflict ended after 154 days of fighting between Government forces and the Maute group, claiming the lives of over 100 soldiers, at least 47 civilians and around 800 terrorists.

However, there remains a concern that Mindanao may become a hotbed attracting IS gunmen who are expelled from Iraq and Syria.-VNA