Philippine leader declares martial law to rein in rebels

May 24, 2017, 8:00 AM EDT
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte cut short his Russia trip.
(Source: Casino Connection/flickr)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a 60-day martial law on Mindanao Island following violent clashes between the government troops and Muslim rebel groups, believed to have ties with so-called Islamic State.

Two soldiers and one police officer were killed on Tuesday as the security forces launched a search operation in the city of Marawi, 816 km south of Manila, notes Al Jazeera.

Duterte, who cut short his visit to Russia amid crisis at home, warned the rebels in his customary hard-line style that the martial law would be in place until terrorism is wiped out from this part of the country, writes the BBC.