In the Philippines, militants linked to Islamic State group have stocked weapons and food in places of worship, tunnels and basements to prepare for a long siege in Marawi City.

Head of the military command in Western Mindanao region Major General Carlito Galvez said in a news conference today that as many as two hundred fighters from the Maute militant group and others were still inside the town, and had made preparations in advance for a drawn-out standoff.

The battle for Marawi City has raised concerns that the ultra-radical Islamic State is building a Southeast Asia base on the island of Mindanao at the southern end of the Philippines.

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