By Michael Cruickshank, @MJ_Cruickshank
An ISIS-linked Islamist group has reportedly overrun significant sections of the city of Marawi, located on the southern island of Mindanao in The Philippines.
According to social media reports, gunfire first began around 2 pm local time when government troops reportedly attempted to raid a number of 'high value' targets from the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf group. Both of these are Islamist militant groups which are reportedly linked (or sympathetic) to the Islamic State (ISIS) and are responsible for multiple deadly attacks in the past.
These raids were apparently not successful and were driven back by fighters from the Maute Group - also known as the Islamic State of Lanao. Throughout the afternoon, Maute fighters (possibly with outside reinforcement) managed to take control of significant positions of the city. Islamic State flags were flown over several prominent buildings, and photos on social media showed significant numbers of gunmen moving through Marawi. As well videos posted online recorded the sound of fierce firefights in the city's western districts.
As night fell the Islamist militants took over a hospital and laid siege to Marawi's prison - it is unclear at this stage if the installation has fallen or not. Police and government troops continued to engage the militants however local reports seemed to suggest they were on the back foot. The city's mayor went so far as to plead for military reinforcements to help stabilize the situation.
By 10pm local time significant fires raged within the city including at the prison, the Dasalan College and Saint Mary's Church. Residents also reported militants setting up roadblocks to fortify sections of the city.
Responding to the escalating situation, Filipino President Duterte declared martial law across the entirety of the island of Mindanao for 60 days. As well the military pledged to send additional reinforcements on Wednesday from other parts of the country.