ISIS releases 'unseen' photos of jihadis executing 'belligerent Christians' in the Philippines

Smoke billowing from a burning building is seen as government troops continue their assault on insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City. | Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

The Islamic State terror group has released the latest edition of its propaganda magazine, which reportedly contains "unseen" photographs of the jihadis executing "belligerent Christians" in the Philippines.

The most recent issue of Rumiyah magazine features an image of masked ISIS fighters pointing their guns at five prisoners lying on their stomachs on the ground with their hands tied up behind their backs. The prisoners, who are wearing orange uniforms, appear to have been shot directly in the head.

The latest issue, titled "The Jihad in East Asia," focuses on the terror group's ongoing operations in the Philippines, where ISIS militants has been clashing with government forces in the city of Marawi.

"The soldiers of the Khilafah in East Asia stormed the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines on the island of Mindanao, chased out the local police and the military, and raised the banner of the Islamic State," the militants wrote in the latest issue of the magazine, according to Breitbart News.

The image was shared by Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence group, on Twitter on Wednesday. "#ISIS shows unseen picture of executions of 'belligerent Christians' by pointblank gunshot after sieging #Marawi #Philippines," Katz tweeted.

The magazine contains several photos of the murdered Christians, who have been described by the jihadists as "belligerent."

The conflict in Marawi began in late May when ISIS-linked jihadist groups Abu Sayyaf and the Maute fighters captured the Muslim-majority city and took hundreds of Christian hostages. The militants have reportedly burned Christian churches and killed civilians who have failed to recite passages from the Quran.

Following the siege, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Southern Philippines and ordered the army to defeat the terrorist group by any means necessary.

"I am not ordering you to take an ordinary police action. I am ordering you to crush our enemy. When I say crush them, you have to destroy everything including lives," the president stated.

"I cannot stop my soldiers now. Let's finish this war that you (IS) have started. The objective of ISIS is to kill and destroy, period. So I will destroy also and kill," he added.

Meanwhile, Philippine military officials have requested the removal of a video of the jihadists smashing icons in a Catholic church in Marawi from social media, including Facebook.

The officials said that the video may be an attempt to fan hatred and turn the conflict into a religious war.

Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, the military spokesman, urged the people to refrain from sharing the video, which features footage of the militants toppling a crucifix, ripping a picture of Pope Francis, and stomping on religious statues.

Padilla said that 20 civilians, 134 militants and 39 government troops have been killed since the fighting broke out on May 23. More than 1,500 civilians have been rescued, but authorities say that it is unclear how many people are still trapped in the city, putting out figures ranging from 100 to 2,000.