Rights group: Militants, troops violated law in Marawi siege

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Rights group: Militants, troops violated law in Marawi siege
Rights group: Militants, troops violated law in Marawi siege

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Amnesty International says it has documented violations of humanitarian law, some amounting to war crimes, during the five-month conflict between Philippine government troops and Islamic State-allied militants who laid siege to the southern city of Marawi.

The human rights group said Friday all sides in the fighting were guilty of violations. It said the militants committed unlawful killings, hostage-taking, pillage and mistreatment of prisoners. They allegedly used child soldiers and singled out Christians to attack brutally.

The report alleges government forces tortured and mistreated detainees and looted.

The siege from May to October left 1,100 combatants and civilians dead and displaced half a million people.

The government had no immediate comment, but in the past military officials have encouraged civilians to report abuse and assured that perpetrators would be punished.

FILE – In this June 9, 2017, file photo, black smoke from continuing military air strikes rises above a mosque in Marawi city, southern Philippines. The human rights group Amnesty International said in a report on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, it has documented a variety of serious violations of humanitarian law, some amounting to war crimes, during the five-month conflict between Philippine government troops and Islamic State-allied militants who laid siege to the southern city of Marawi. .(AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)
FILE – In this Oct. 17, 2017, file photo, hundreds of evacuees continue to be housed for almost five months now in a multi-purpose hall at Balo-i township, Lanao del Norte province after fleeing the besieged city of Marawi in southern Philippines. The human rights group Amnesty International said in a report on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, it has documented a variety of serious violations of humanitarian law, some amounting to war crimes, during the five-month conflict between Philippine government troops and Islamic State-allied militants who laid siege to the southern city of Marawi. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)