Priest among 14 hostages taken in siege of Philippines city

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Five government troops were injured as police and military clashed with members of the Maute and terrorist groups in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur on Tuesday.

The Independent in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, is reporting that Maute is the military group that's tied to ISIS, and they're storming the city to take over from the government.

Marawi City attacked by suspected ISIS inspired militants belonging to the Maute group on May 23, 2017.

"They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled", Villegas said.

"I'm appealing to residents of Marawi City to stay home, drop on the ground if they hear gunshots", vice governor of the city Mamintal Adiong told the Philippine Star newspaper.

On the other hand, Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra did not confirm reports that the terror group took hostages and insisted that the local government has the situation under control.

The Maute group reportedly forced their way into the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians and abducted Father Chito Suganob, vicar-general of the prelature of Marawi, the parish secretary, two students and 10 other parishioners. Black flags of the global terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) were also seen atop vehicles.

The US State Department has a US$5million bounty for the capture of Hapilon, an Arabic-speaking preacher known for his expertise in commando assaults, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014.

Two soldiers and a police officer are among those killed and at least 12 people have been wounded in the violence.

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Critics and even economists chided Duterte for what they saw as an overreaction in declaring martial law on an island the size of South Korea after an incident in one city.

As details of the attack in Marawi city emerged, fears mounted that the largest Roman Catholic nation in Asia could be falling into a growing list of countries grappling with the spread of influence from the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

"Do not force my hands into it", said Duterte, who cut short his visit to Russian Federation to return to Manila.

Duterte, 72, known internationally for waging a war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives, had said on many occasions since becoming president a year ago that he was prepared to declare martial law nationally as well as in Mindanao.

The Maute group is a radical Islamist organization made up of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front soldiers and some foreign fighters.

"We have increased the deployment of troops and increased our points of engagement in several places", said Hermogenes Esperon, national security advisor, to president Duterte.

In April, troops backed by airstrikes killed dozens of Maute militants and captured their jungle camp near Lanao del Sur's Piagapo town.

Villegas used the #PrayforMarawi and "begged" all Filipinos to "pray fervently for Fr. Chito and for other hostages".