As the Philippines government security forces enter the fourth day of battle with militants, belonging to the Maute Group, in the City of Marawi, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) finally maximised its air and ground assets to finish off an estimated 100 fighters.
Residents, adjacent to the battle field, witnessed for the first time gunship helicopters launching airstrikes, targeting rebels. Moreover, ground military assets like tanks and Armored Personnel Couriers exchanged fires with Maute militants, who were using high powered machine guns.
"Our troops are doing deliberate operations in areas we believe are still occupied or infested with the terrorist presence," said Brigadier General Rolly Bautista as reported by Reuters.
According to recent reports, at least 46 people - 15 security forces and 31 rebels - have been killed.
Moreover, the fierce battle also cut off the city's main power supply for several hours. Thousands also fled the city and moved towards newly created evacuation centres in Iligan City - a neighbouring city and in Lanao del Sur towns.
Establishments were also closed and locals faced difficulty to buy food and water for their daily needs. While military press statement said that they are now in control of the situation, some residents claimed that the battle might take longer as expected.
Khye Amerol, one of the evacuees, told International Business Times that more people are still moving out of Marawi because they fear getting caught in the crossfire.
In Manila, Philippines government's Solicitor General Jose Calida also made a surprise announcement when he said there were Indonesia and Malaysia nationals fighting side by side with the Maute group.
On Wednesday, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared Martial law in Mindanao and warned many armed people will die, particularly those who will defy the government's policy to promote stable peace and order in the country. "If there's an open defiance you will die," Duterte warned.
The military also said the Maute Group wanted to earn recognition from the Islamic State Group and this was what motivated them to manifest their show of force against the Philippines military.