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Philippines: Marawi Muslims Help Trapped Christians to Escape the City as Death Toll Rises from ISIS-linked Fighting

Suzette Gutierrez-Cachila : May 30, 2017  Gospel Herald

According to Myrna Jocelyn Henry of the Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Marawi Muslim residents have helped more than 100 Christians relocate to safety.

(Marawi, Philippines)—[Gospel Herald] Muslims in Marawi, Philippines helped 39 Christians flee the city amid intensifying gunfights between ISIS-linked fighters and members of the military. (Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro/via Gospel Herald)

Senior Supt. Oscar Nantes, police director in Lanao del Sur province, said the Christians had been trapped and hiding in houses for 36 hours, lying flat on their backs so the Maute group members in the area would not see them. They were aided by two elderly Muslims, who gave them a place to hide, PhilStar reported.

The 39 Christians were then rescued by a team initiated by Salma Jayne Tamano, the province's information officer, and her relatives, who are all Muslims.

According to Myrna Jocelyn Henry of the Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Marawi Muslim residents have helped more than 100 Christians relocate to safety.

"The ARMM government is thankful to these Muslim Marawi residents for helping save the lives of non-Muslims," Henry said, according to PhilStar.

There was also an unconfirmed report of 42 Christians rescued by a Muslim state prosecutor from a school that the militants torched last Friday. The state prosecutor reportedly gave them refuge in a building and helped them escape a few at a time, Henry said.

Since Friday, more than 100 people, including civilians, have died because of the fighting. The death toll continues to rise as more dead bodies are discovered.

On Saturday evening, the bodies of women and children, eight in all, were found about 300 meters away from Mindanao State University.

On Sunday, authorities found the bloodied bodies of eight men thrown in a ditch. Their hands were tied, and beside them was a cardboard with the word "munafiq," which means hypocrite, according to GMA News.

The men were workers at a local bakery who were caught trying to escape to a nearby city...

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