Policemen watches vehicles at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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Muslim extremists abducted a Catholic priest and more than a dozen churchgoers while laying siege to a southern Philippine city overnight, burning buildings, ambushing soldiers and hoisting flags of the ISIS, officials said Wednesday.Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the militants forced their way into a cathedral in Marawi and seized a priest, 10 worshippers and three church workers.The priest, Father Chito, and the others had no role in the conflict, Villegas said.Duterte cut the trip short and headed back to the Philippines.While pursuing peace talks with two large Muslim rebel groups in the south of this predominantly Roman Catholic nation, Duterte has ordered the military to destroy smaller extremist groups which have tried to align with ISIS.The Maute has been blamed for a bombing that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, Duterte's hometown, last September and a number of attacks on government forces in Lanao, although it has faced setbacks from a series of military offensives.
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