BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 A.M.) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte denied seeking support from Washington to end the siege of Marawi by Maute militants, speaking from Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday.

“I have not done that, I haven’t made an appeal [for US assistance]. As I said, I didn’t even know that the American government has been providing technical [assistance]” he said.

The US embassy in Manila said support had been requested by the government and the Philippines military said on Saturday US forces were providing technical assistance.

Duterte declared martial law in the area for a period of 60 days after the Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL), stormed the city on May 23. Most of the 200,000 population have fled.

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