The Islamic State (ISIS) has started burning churches in Marawi, the first city in the Philippines to be at least partially controlled by it’s fighters. A video published by the Amaq News Agency (below) shows how the jihadists desecrate the church by first smashing a Christ sculpture and then setting the entire building on fire.
The city once populated by 200 thousand Filipinos but now mostly abandoned, with about 2 thousand citizens still trapped in the area, has become the scene for the Islamic State to, for the first time ever, challenge territorial control of the Philippine authorities.
While the Philippine military was quick to begin a counter-offensive against the ISIS occupation of Marawi’s city center and already 180 people have fallen victim to the armed conflict, it still rages on. The insurgency is mainly led by the infamous Maute group, which pledged allegiance to ISIS and stormed the city on May 23.