Soldiers try to restore order in besieged Philippine city


Army tanks packed with soldiers have rolled into a southern Philippine city to try to restore control after militants linked to Islamic State group launched a violent siege.

Thousands of civilians have been fleeing the city of some 200,000 people.

At least 21 people have died in fighting that erupted late Tuesday, when the army raided the Marawi hideout of Isnilon Hapilon. Hapilon is on Washington’s list of most-wanted terrorists and has a $5 million bounty on his head.

But the operation quickly went wrong as the militants called in reinforcements. The city of Marawi was still largely sealed off Thursday, although automatic gunfire and explosions could be heard. Plumes of black smoke rose from the direction of the city center and air force helicopters swooped overhead.