President Duterte Declares Martial Law in Southern Philippines
The declaration comes after security forces clashed with Islamic State militants.
Marital law is now in effect across the southern third of the country. The announcement was made by his spokesman at a press conference in Moscow. Duterte is currently in Russia on an official visit. Mindanao, the region affected by the move, is home to about 20 million people.
The order of martial law is expected to be in place for 60 days, in line with constitutional limits on the use of military rule. Martial law is particularly sensitive in the Philippines due to its use by dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Duterte is cutting his trip to Russia short in order to return to the Philippines.
The announcement came after security forces battled dozens of IS-linked gunmen in a Marawi, a city of about 200,000 people in Mindanao, on Tuesday.
Marawi is about 800 kilometres (500 miles) south of Manila, the nation’s capital.