At least 25 Christians killed in Philippines

MARAWI, Philippines — Muslim militants reportedly targeted Christians during a six-month-long conflict on the Philippine island of Mindanao, killing dozens.

About 200 people, many of them Christian, were taken hostage in the city of Marawi after militants with ties to the Islamic State seized the predominantly Muslim city of about 200,000, The Christian Post reported.

The militants, who clashed with the Philippine military until October, “regularly targeted civilians and carried out numerous extrajudicial executions,” according to a report by Amnesty International. “The civilian victims were nearly all Christians, and most — if not all — were targeted because they were not Muslim.”

Some were killed as they tried to leave the city but once the militants’ strategy became known many Muslim residents helped Christians escape by dressing them as Muslims and driving them out in their vehicles.

“In total, witnesses provided Amnesty International with accounts of 25 civilian deaths. Unlawful killings by militants have also been reported in the media,” the report said. Others were kept for sex slaves or human shields.

The Philippine government, which had the support of the U.S., put the island under military rule after the conflict, the Post reported. (TAB)