4 dead as fighting continues in southern Philippine city

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The dome of a mosque bore a hole and a bullet-pocked minaret rose above the area.

Mahmud Ahmad was described by the Philippine military as a "high value target" who had funded an attack by pro-IS militants on the southern city of Marawi in May and connected local insurgents with jihadists in the Middle East.

It was one of the first military teams deployed to Marawi following the deadly siege of Islamic State-linked militants in May.

Delays in implementing the peace agreement stem from the transition from the Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino administration to that of President Rodrigo Duterte last May. The extent of the damage sustained by Marawi and the large number of displaced citizens because of the rebellion, he says, required a well-coordinated, large-scale rebuilding effort on the part of the government.

"There is a big possibility that Mahmud is among them", he said. The government declared the city's "liberation" from extremists the day before. This poses a threat to security beyond the southern Philippines and needs addressing at the regional level. The military is unsure who their leader is.

Duterte is a huge fan of the Chinese rifles and took a pot-shot himself in the direction of militants in Marawi City recently. Six soldiers were injured in the fighting. Both are out of danger, even as about 20 more hostages remain in the area.

Padilla said the 1st Infantry Battalion would be replaced by another unit of the Joint Task Group Ranao under Brigadier General Ramil Rey.

The government this early plans to float so-called patriotic bonds in January next year to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the war-torn city.

He said Mahmud was among the five key militant leaders who sought sanctuary among the Abu Sayyaf terrorists after a major crackdown on Daesh group in Malaysia.

Their deaths partly convinced the president he could declare Marawi liberated from the gunmen, said Brawner.

He was a former Islamic Studies professor at Universiti Malaya in Malaysia who trained at an Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in the late 1990s while studying in Pakistan.

Architect and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr., who committed to help in the reconstruction of Marawi, recommended to provincial officials of Lanao del Sur to make the ruins of Marawi a historic memorial as a reminder of how terrorism could destroy a peaceful city.

The insurrection prompted the military to open a ground offensive and use airstrikes, with the United States and Australia later backing the troops by deploying surveillance aircraft.

MANILA, Philippines-A top Malaysian terrorist has been killed by the Philippine military, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed on Thursday.