#PrayforMarawi: Twitter users show support for Filipino civilians, troops
MANILA, Philippines – Heartfelt messages poured out on Twitter in support of the civilians and soldiers in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, as Filipino troops clashed with terror groups on Tuesday, May 23.
Other Twitter users condemned the terror group that attacked the predominantly Muslim city in Mindanao.
The hashtag #PrayforMarawi has topped Twitter's trending topics in the Philippines as the situation worsened towards evening, with the Maute Group occupying a public hospital. (READ: Military sending more troops to Marawi amid Maute attack)
Before we sleep in our comfortable sheets tonight, let us #PrayForMarawi— Gabt (@GabTee) May 23, 2017
City residents took to social media to share photos and videos capturing the tense situation on the ground: soldiers and their helicopters, Maute members and their black flags, and fires breaking out Tuesday evening.PrayForMarawi - Curated tweets by MovePH
Rappler sources said the military was targetting combined forces of the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group, two local terror groups that have pledged allegiance to the international terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS).
Kabataan Party List Representative Sarah Elago urged the government to resolve the crisis without violating the rights of civilians.
No to heavy bombardment! Save civilians! Immediate, peaceful resolution now! #PrayforMarawi— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) May 23, 2017
Marawi City is adjacent to the known lair of the Maute Group in Butig town, both in the province of Lanao del Sur.
The Maute Group last year occupied and raised the ISIS black flag at the Butig Municipal Hall. It took weeks of military operations before soldiers retook the government building. (READ: PH flag replaces ISIS black banner at Butig town hall)
Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Isnilon Hapilon, based in Basilan in the western part of Mindanao, reportedly brought some of his men to Lanao del Sur in late 2016 to join the Maute Group.
If you have photos and videos of the ongoing clashes, tag @MovePH on Twitter or use the hashtag #PrayforMarawi.