At war with the Philippine strongman: Duterte calls for martial law to remain on Mindanao

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines — While Kim Jong-un threatens nuclear armageddon, a real war involving Islamic State loyalists that could have regional and potentially global consequences grinds on, far from the world’s view on the Philippine island of Mindanao.

For six months, the island has been under martial law as Philippine President Roderigo Duterte wages war with the powerful and deadly Maute clan and their allies, Abu Sayyaf, and countless foreign fighters. Nearly 1,800 were killed – militants and government soldiers – in the armed five-month conflict known as the Battle of Marawi, the longest urban battle in the country’s history. In its aftermath, the Maute clan was diminished — seven of the brothers killed, and the senior Maute leader Abu Dor still at large — but Duterte continues to ratchet up the pressure on the region.

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