Philippine military needs 20,000 more troops: Duterte

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked lawmakers to approve the recruiting of 20,000 more soldiers to tackle increased security threats following a bloody urban siege in the south, his spokesman said on Sunday.
Almost 700 people have been killed, according to the official count, in over two months of fighting in the southern city of Marawi against militants who have pledged allegiance to the IS group.
The militants, waving the black IS flag, have occupied parts of Marawi since May 23, prompting Duterte to declare martial law in the entire southern region of Mindanao.
“The request of the president for additional 20,000 troops is part of our intensified security posture to guard areas in the country where there are continuing security threats,” spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement. — AFP