On 23 May 2017, the government launched a military and law enforcement operations in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, with the objective of capturing a leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group after receiving reports that the leader planned to meet with another Islamic militant group. This escalated to a deadly firefight between government troops and combined forces of Islamic extremists which were able to occupy several facilities such as local hospital, city jail, schools, and other facilities. The President of the Philippines immediately put the whole island of Mindanao under martial law up to maximum of 60 days. With almost two weeks of heavy fighting, many of the affected residents were forced to flee and seek refuge to nearby towns and provinces such as Iligan City, Lanao del Norte and Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. Loss of lives and displaced people continue to rise as increased fighting ensued, leaving the people to scramble for their safety outside of the City and elude crossfires and heavy fighting between government troops and Islamic militant groups.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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