ISIS is holding hundreds of people hostage, several of whom are Christian, in the Filipino city of Marawi using them as human shields against Philippine Army shelling. Local security forces have saved most of the residents from the area conquered by the radical Islamic terrorist organization, but at the price of dozens of lives. However, ISIS still controls more than a third of the city.

Footage of ISIS-held Marawi

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Three weeks after ISIS terrorists stormed and conquered the city of Marawi in the Southern Philippines, civilians who escaped from neighborhoods that have turned into battlefields tell of hardships, severe hunger and the lack of emergency medical services. In footage released by ISIS’s media outlet, artillery forces’ incessant shooting of shells at a neighborhood within the city can be seen.

Five Christian residents were able to flee today (Tuesday) from the battlefield accompanied by a large military force. “We ran the last part,” First Officer Lumna Lidasan, told Reuters. “We could see the bridge ahead of us. We had to take cover several times when we saw a sniper.”

ISIS conquers city in Philippines

ISIS conquers city in Philippines Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News

Up until this past May, about 300,000 residents lived in Marawi, but local law enforcement estimates that a majority have fled fearing that ISIS will capture them and use them as human shields.