hostages

Gunmen take Catholic hostages; Philippines’ Duterte imposes martial law

Philippine government troops stood guard May 24 at a checkpoint along a main highway in Lanao del Norte province. Residents started to evacuate the town of Marawi after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao.

MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi May 23.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao late May 23, but ucanews.com reported that many, including Church leaders, characterized the imposition of martial law as an overreaction.

Pope: End ‘inhumane’ hostilities now, rescue civilians in Syria

A man reacts on the rubble of destroyed buildings Oct. 11 after losing relatives to an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. In the wake of intensified attacks in Syria, Pope Francis called for an immediate cease-fire, even if temporary, so that civilians, especially children, could be rescued from the ruins.

VATICAN CITY — In the wake of intensified attacks in Syria, Pope Francis called for an immediate cease-fire — even if temporary — so that civilians, especially children, could be rescued from the ruins.

Emphasizing that his thoughts and prayers are with "all victims of the inhumane conflict in Syria," the pope said it was with "a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, imploring — with all my strength — those responsible so that an immediate cease-fire be arranged."

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