Philippine Congress Extends Martial Law in Besieged Region

The Philippine Congress voted on Saturday to extend martial law in the southern party of the country, which has been under siege by Islamic State-inspired militants. The extension of martial law gives the military five more months to crush the rebellion on the island of Mindanao. Critics of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte say extending martial law can undermine civilian authority and the existing democratic process in the country. The fighting on the island has left 99 soldiers, 421 militants and 45 civilians dead and the gunmen appeared to be holding about 300 people hostage.

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