One of the biggest trending topics on Twitter right now is the hashtag “pray for Marawi.” And while many people in America and elsewhere are focusing on the recent attack on Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert, it’s just as important to look at what’s going on in the Philippines to get a grasp on what’s going on in the world.
According to Rappler, people in the Philippines, and all over the world, began to “pray for Marawi” when fires began to break out thanks to the clash between the military and the Maute Group.
“Clashes erupted at 2 pm on Tuesday as the military moved to hunt down ‘high-value targets’ who sneaked into the city, based on reports from residents. The situation quickly developed. Suspected Maute members were photographed on the streets. Black flags of the international terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) were also seen atop vehicles. As of posting, a policeman has been confirmed killed in the clashes, while 5 other security forces have been wounded.”
What’s interesting to note is that one of the first things blamed for this attack is ISIS, the radical Islamic state that’s also taking credit for the attack on Manchester.
Almost immediately, people took to Twitter to extend their condolences to the victims of the attack.
— Solicitude???????? (@jcdelacueva) May 23, 2017
I've never imagined myself crying over the appalling happenings in the country, but heck. Today is that day. God, send help. #PrayForMarawi
— Dane Bautista, CE (@theengrdane) May 23, 2017
— #PrayForMarawi (@twicegf) May 23, 2017
But even though the initial “pray for Marawi” reports suggested that this was a terrorist attack, there are other reports that suggest that this was not the case.
According to Philippines Star Global, this was a military strike that was part of the ongoing internal conflict in the Philippines, according to Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson.
“Contrary to reports and rumors you are receiving, the AFP-PNP initiated this operation in Marawi. We received reliable info on Hapilon and a number of his cohorts. Updates to follow as the operation is still ongoing. Please do not believe propaganda from other groups. This is based on the report from our communities in Marawi City wherein they spotted an armed group. These communities have reported this to authorities especially the army. We verified the report and initiated a surgical operation pertaining to this armed group, the local terrorist group. The firefight started at around 2 p.m. this afternoon.”
The Independent in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, is reporting that Maute is the military group tied to ISIS, and they’re storming the city to it take over from the government. The organization is also sometimes known as the Islamic State of Lanao.
Residents of the town are urged to stay indoors until the fire fighting stops.
“‘I’m appealing to residents of Marawi City to stay home, drop on the ground if they hear gunshots,’ Mamintal Adiong Jr, the governor of the Lanao del Sur province told The Philippine Star newspaper. ‘They have to lock their doors and gates too.’ Local reports suggested that the militants had entered a local hospital and raised a black Isis flag above the roof, although this information was officially verified by the army.”
Whatever the case may be when it comes to the Philippines, we urge everyone in the town to not only “pray for Marawi” for their current state but to stay safe if you’re in the area.
Let us know your thoughts about the “pray for Marawi” incident in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images]