Hiding Christians in the Basement Flee Islamic State in Philippines City

Published 30 June 2017  |  
Related file photo

Five Christian civilians had hid themselves in a basement for three weeks to escape the guns of Islamic State (IS) fighters in Philippine city of Marawi before they fled for their lives.

The men were from a neighbouring province and were hired on a construction job in Marawi before the extremists seized the town on May 23. The IS fighters went door to door killing non-Muslims.

"We were hiding in the house of the Barangay village chief," said Jenniver Velazques, one of the men who were hiding in the basement.

Another teammate, Ian Torres, a 25-year-old house painter, said to New York Times, "We heard them shouting 'Allahu akbar' and asking neighbors about religion."

"We could only hear them. If they could not answer questions about Quran verses, gunfire immediately followed," he added.

Those who remained in the basement knew they would be killed if the extremists caught and questioned them.

IS inspired Philippine military bombed the area where they were hiding. "They fell right beside us," said Velazques.

"All the windows in the house were broken", he added.

For weeks they survived on tins of sardines, meatloaf and corned beef, and water that were stored in drums at the construction site. When they didn't have anything to eat anymore, they had no choice but to leave.

The IS fighters video recorded the executions of Christians and government officials and posted them online terrorizing others worldwide.

According to ABC News, local authorities fear that there could be as many as 1,500 people still trapped in Marawi.


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