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  1. ILIGAN, Philippines (AP) — Thirteen Philippine marines were killed in fierce fighting with Muslim militants who have laid siege to a southern city for nearly three weeks in the biggest single-day loss for government forces, the military said Saturday. A U.S. Navy aircraft provided surveillance for the local troops as the battle raged in Marawi on Friday, confirming the involvement of the U.S. military in helping quell the urban insurrection at the request of the Philippine government, Philippine military officials said. An Associated Press journalist and photographer saw a U.S. Navy P3 Orion plane hovering in cloudy skies above Marawi on Friday. The aircraft flew above rocket-firing Philippine helicopters that struck militant positions, causing plumes of smoke to billow skyward. "We don't have adequate surveillance equipment, so we asked the U.S. military for assistance. It's noncombat assistance," military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said by phone, citing a Philippine government policy that bars foreign troops from local combat. The U.S. Embassy in Manila said without elaborating that U.S. special operations forces were providing help to Filipino troops battling the Maute and Abu Sayyaf militants in Marawi. "The United States is a proud ally of the Philippines, and we will continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries, including on counterterrorism issues," the embassy said in a statement. Philippine marines were conducting a house-to-house search for militants allied with the Islamic State group who are still occupying parts of Marawi when the battle erupted Friday, said Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesman for the Philippine army's 1st Infantry Division. About 30-40 militants used civilians as human shields, making it hard for troops to operate, and also positioned themselves in the city's many mosques. Forty other marines were wounded, Herrera said. Philippine military officials say the violence has left at least 138 militants and 58 government troops dead. At least 21 civilians have been killed, including a boy who was hit by suspected militant gunfire inside a Marawi mosque where his family had taken refuge, Padilla said. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the city, parts of which were reduced to rubble by fighting and government airstrikes in an attempt to dislodge the rebels. "This temporary setback has not diminished our resolve a bit," said military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo. "It instead primed up our determination to continue our prudent advances to neutralize the enemy, save the innocent lives trapped in the fight, and set the conditions for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi." Filipino forces, meanwhile, captured on Friday the mother of two top militant leaders leading the siege. Ominta Romato Maute, who is also known as Farhana, was arrested with two wounded men and several woman allegedly with assault rifles and other weapons in Masiu town in Lanao del Sur province. Maute's husband, Cayamora, was arrested at a police checkpoint in the southern city of Davao on Tuesday. The two were detained on suspicion of providing financial and other support to their children who are involved in the fighting in Marawi, officials said. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in the Mindanao region, the southern third of the Philippines and home to a decades-long Muslim separatist rebellion. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the designated administrator of martial law, has ordered the arrest of nearly 200 militants, politicians and other suspected civilian backers of the unprecedented uprising in Marawi, the mosque-studded heartland of Islamic faith in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation. The Marawi siege followed a May 23 army raid that failed to capture a top terror suspect, Isnilon Hapilon, who has been designated by the Islamic State group as its leader in Southeast Asia. The raid, however pre-empted a plot by hundreds of militants waving Islamic State group-style black flags to capture Marawi and kill Christians, military officials say. < Here >
  2. Nokia 6 Finally Goes on Sale Outside of China for $370 The phone is available in the Philippines in white color Well, it looks like starting tomorrow, the Nokia 6 will be available for purchase in another country, although customers will have to pay more. PinoyTechnoGuide reports major retailer Lazada will begin selling the Nokia 6 in the Philippines. As some of you probably know by now, Nokia 6 is available for purchase in China through JD.com retailer for only $245. However, customers in the Philippines will have to pay $370 for the mid-range smartphone. On the bright side (no pun intended), Nokia 6 will be available at Lazada in white color, which is rather odd considering HMD Global only released the smartphone in black version in China. It's also worth mentioning those who purchase the smartphone through Lazada will benefit from free shipping. We don't know if there's a purchase limit per customer, but it doesn't seems so. Checking out the specs listed by Lazada, it seems they're selling the same device that's been introduced in China not long ago. So, expect a mid-range smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat operating system right out of the box, coupled with an octa-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor. The Nokia 6's 16-megapixel rear-facing camera has already been compared to other cameras on flagships like the OnePlus 3T and Huawei Mate 9 Pro, and it performed admirably. There's also a secondary 8-megapixel camera in the front for those who like to take selfies. It also sports a 5.5-inch full HD (1080p) display with 2.5D scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3 coating. On the inside, the Nokia 6 packs 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage (expandable up to 128GB via microSD card). Source
  3. By Manuel Mogato TACLOBAN, Philippines, Nov 10 (Reuters) - One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines, a senior police official said on Sunday, with huge waves sweeping away coastal villages and devastating one of the main cities in the region. Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path as it tore through Leyte province on Friday, said police chief superintendent Elmer Soria, before weakening and heading west for Vietnam. As rescue workers struggled to reach ravaged villages along the coast, where the death toll is as yet unknown, survivors foraged for food or searched for lost loved ones. "People are walking like zombies looking for food," said Jenny Chu, a medical student in Leyte. "It's like a movie." Most of the deaths appear to have been caused by surging sea water strewn with debris that many said resembled a tsunami, levelling houses and drowning hundreds of people in one of the worst disasters to hit the typhoon-prone Southeast Asian nation. The national government and disaster agency have not confirmed the latest estimate of deaths, a sharp increase from initial estimates on Saturday of at least 1,200 killed by a storm whose sustained winds reached 195 miles per hour (313 km per hour) with gusts of up to 235 mph (378 kph). "We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said, based on their estimate, 10,000 died," Soria told Reuters. "The devastation is so big." About 300 people died in neighbouring Samar province, where Haiyan first hit land on Friday as a category 5 typhoon, with 2,000 missing, said an official of the provincial disaster agency. Nearly 480,000 people were displaced and 4.5 million "affected" by the typhoon in 36 provinces, the national disaster agency said, as relief agencies called for food, water, medicines and tarpaulins for the homeless. International aid agencies said relief efforts in the Philippines were stretched thin after a 7.2 magnitude quake in central Bohol province last month and displacement caused by a conflict with Muslim rebels in southern Zamboanga province. The U.S. embassy said it would provide $100,000 for health, water and sanitation support. Australia said it would provide an initial 15.5 million pesos ($358,900) in relief supplies. The World Food Programme said it was airlifting 40 tonnes of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed 120,000 people for a day, as well as emergency supplies and communications equipment. Witnesses and officials described chaotic scenes in Leyte's capital, Tacloban, a coastal city of 220,000 about 580 km (360 miles) southeast of Manila which bore the brunt, with hundreds of bodies piled on the sides of roads and pinned under wrecked houses. The city lies in a cove where the seawater narrows, making it susceptible to storm surges. The city and nearby villages as far as one kilometre (just over half a mile) from shore were flooded, leaving floating bodies and roads choked with debris from fallen trees, tangled power lines and flattened homes. Many Internet users urged prayers and called for aid for survivors in the largely Roman Catholic nation on social media sites such as Twitter. Source
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