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Philippines military recommends that Duterte ends martial law in south imposed after jihadists’ siege

Philippines military recommends that Duterte ends martial law in south imposed after jihadists’ siege

The Philippine defense chief said on Wednesday he recommended that President Rodrigo Duterte ends martial law in the south, where it was imposed in 2017 to help troops quell a bloody siege by jihadists in Marawi, who were reportedly aligned with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he told the president on Wednesday that Muslim militants have been weakened considerably and are no longer able to carry out an attack like the Marawi siege.

Duterte has extended martial law three times and it is due to expire at the end of the year. There was no immediate reaction from the president, AP said.

The attack reinforced fears in Southeast Asia that the IS group was gaining a foothold in the region despite its setbacks in Iraq and Syria.