Philippine lawmakers approve extending Mindanao martial law to end of year

Reuters , Saturday 22 Jul 2017

Philippine lawmakers on Saturday voted to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao until the end of the year, giving President Rodrigo Duterte extra time to quell a rebellion by militants allied with the Islamic State group.

A total of 261 legislators agreed to extend military rule in a seven hour-long joint special session of the House of Representatives and the Senate, accounting for more than two-thirds of Congress membership of more than 300.

Ahead of the voting, security officials told lawmakers that martial law was needed to stabilise a region where Islamic State was gaining influence, and supporters could be inspired to stage uprisings in areas on Mindanao, joined by foreign Islamist militants.

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