MARAWI CITY – Police were investigating whether some of its personnel had joined the local ISIS group fighting security in Marawi City in southern Philippines, officials said Sunday.
Officials said one policemen, who was reported missing, allegedly is fighting troops alongside the militants who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Another policeman is believed to have defected to the militant group.
Soldiers have recovered a police identification card on a mosque previously held by the ISIS fighters in the besieged city. Other reports said as many as 60 policemen assigned in Marawi and Lanao del Sur province went missing since ISIS fighters occupied the city on May 23.
It was unknown whether the policemen had been taken prisoners or forced to join ISIS to escape execution. The militants are still holding at least 200 hostages, including a Catholic priest and church workers.
The military insisted that over 500 militants had been killed in the fighting, but officials provided little or no evidence of the claims. However, the military confirmed that more than 100 soldiers had perished from the violence that also wounded over 1,000 soldiers. The fighting displaced tens of thousands of people in Marawi, the capital of Lanao del Sur that belongs to the Muslim autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)
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