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Duterte seeks martial law extension in southern Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law in the country’s south by another year amid concerns over possible militant attacks, although democracy advocates fear it could worsen human rights conditions.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told reporters without elaborating Friday that Duterte has asked Congress to allow the extension of martial law, which expires at year’s end.

Duterte placed the entire southern Mindanao region under martial law after hundreds of Islamic State group-linked militants besieged the Islamic city of Marawi on May 23, 2017. After five months, Philippine troops quelled the siege, which left more than 1,100 combatants and civilians dead and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Military officials say extremists continue to seek recruits and plot new attacks.

The Associated Press