May 26, 2017 / 9:30 AM / 4 months ago

Philippine president urges Islamic State-linked rebels to hold dialogue

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte presides over a special cabinet meeting at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City, southern Philippines May 25, 2017. Malacanang Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said an ongoing siege by Muslim radicals in a southern city demonstrated that Islamic State had a presence in the Philippines and told rebels there was still a chance for peace.

Duterte said he was willing to hold dialogue with the Maute group militants, which have been fighting the military for three days in Marawi City on Mindanao island.

“My message mainly to the terrorists on the other side is we can still solve this through dialogue,” he said in a speech to soldiers in Iligan City, close to Marawi.

Reporting by Tom Allard; Writing by Martin Petty

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