ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

The Philippine military urged Islamist militants occupying a southern city to turn themselves in on Tuesday, the eighth day of a push by security forces using armored vehicles and firing rockets from helicopters to eliminate the gunmen.

The government says it is close to retaking Marawi from the Islamic State-linked Maute group, which seized parts of the city after a failed attempt by security forces to capture Isnilon Hapilon, the militants’ so-called emir of Southeast Asia.

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“We call on the remaining terrorists to surrender while there is an opportunity,” a military spokesman, Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla, told reporters.

As helicopters circled the lakeside city where smoke billowed out of some buildings, troops cleared rebel positions amid explosions and automatic gunfire, moving house by house and street by street.

More than 100 people have been killed, most of them militants, according to the military, and most of the city’s residents have fled.

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ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

A Filipino government troop conducts patrol on a reclaimed former Maute stronghold in Marawi City, Mindanao Island, southern Philippines on May 30, 2017, as fighting between Islamist militants and government forces continues. According to news reports, more than a 100 people have been killed in ongoing clashes between rebels and the Philippine army in Marawi in southern Philippines, a government spokesperson said. At least four rebels from the Maute group – with links to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS, ISIL) – and two soldiers were killed on 30 May, government spokesperson Ernesto Abella, said in a press conference. Since the clashes broke out a week ago, the number of casualties has climbed to 104, including 19 civilians, 65 rebels, 17 soldiers and three police officers. The clashes began on 23 May when an army offensive to capture Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, also loyal to the IS, and who was sheltered by members of the Maute group in Marawi, had failed. (Francis R. Malasig/EPA)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Government troops are seen during an assault on insurgents from the so-called Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, in Marawi City, southern Philippines May 25, 2017. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents carrying belongings walk along a main street to proceed to a evacuation center outside of Marawi city after government troops continued with an assault on fighters from the Maute group who have taken over large parts of Marawi city, Philippines May 26, 2017. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents who were displaced due to fighting between government soldiers and the Maute militant group, carry plastic containers of water in Marawi City in southern Philippines May 28, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Children who were displaced due to fighting between government soldiers and the Maute militant group, look out from an evacuation centre in Marawi City in southern Philippines May 28, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Smoke billows in a residential neighbourhood in Marawi City due to fighting between government soldiers and the Maute militant group, in southern Philippines May 27, 2017. Picture taken May 27, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

A Philippine Air Force attack helicopter fires a rocket as they continue to assault the Maute group in Marawi City in southern Philippines May 29, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

A view of the Maute group stronghold with an ISIS flag in Marawi City in southern Philippines May 29, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Smoke rises from burning houses following an air strike at Maute rebels stronghold as fighting between Islamist militants and government forces continues in Marawi city, Mindanao island, southern Philippines on May 30, 2017. (Richel Umel/EPA)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Smoke billows at the site of fighting between government soldiers and Maute group, near a mosque in Marawi City, southern Philippines May 30, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

A woman displaced by fighting between government soldiers and Maute group rests near a cat at a makeshift evacuation centre in Marawi City, southern Philippines May 30, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Philippine Marines aim their weapons towards the stronghold of Maute group in Marawi City, southern Philippines May 30, 2017. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Filipino soldiers engage in a firefight with ISIS-linked militants, on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. Philippine government troops are battling their way as they inch towards the city center where ISIS-linked militants have been holed for nearly a week. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Filipino soldiers engage in a firefight with ISIS-linked militants, on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Filipino soldiers engage in a firefight with ISIS-linked militants, on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Filipino soldiers engage in a firefight with ISIS-linked militants, on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents who survived the siege of ISIS-linked militatnts in an evacuation center inside thi city on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Smoke billows from the city center after an air attack by Philippine government troops on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Government troops head to the frontline as fighting with Muslim militants in Marawi city enters its second week Tuesday, May 30, 2017, in the southern Philippines. Philippine forces pressed their offensive to drive out militants linked to the Islamic State group after days of fighting left corpses in the streets and hundreds of civilians begging for rescue from a besieged southern city of Marawi. (Bullit Marquez/AP)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents who survived the siege of ISIS-linked militatnts line up to receive supply and food in an evacuation center inside the city on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents who survived the siege of ISIS-linked militatnts line up to receive supply and food in an evacuation center inside the city on May 30, 2017 in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents who survived the siege of ISIS-linked militatnts took shelter in a gymnasium of an adjacent town on May 30, 2017 in Baloi, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

Residents who survived the siege of ISIS-linked militatnts took shelter in a gymnasium of an adjacent town on May 30, 2017 in Baloi, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

ISIS-linked group under heavy fire in the Philippines as civilians flee

A Philippine Marine guards the display of high-powered firearms, ammunitions, uniforms and black ISIS-style flags which were recovered from Muslim militants Tuesday, May 30, 2017 in Marawi city southern Philippines. Philippine forces pressed their offensive to drive out militants linked to the Islamic State group after days of fighting left corpses in the streets and hundreds of civilians begging for rescue from a besieged southern city of Marawi. (Bullit Marquez/AP)

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