Thousands of civilians are fleeing fighting in the Philippines as troops seek to contain Islamic State-linked militants who have taken over large parts of a city, set building ablaze and kidnapped a Catholic priest and other Christians.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law on his native island of Mindanao following a failed raid by soldiers on Tuesday on a hideout of the Maute militant group, which triggered clashes and chaos across the largely Muslim city of Marawi.
Mr Duterte has long threatened martial law to destroy the Maute group and the allied Abu Sayyaf, which he warns are trying to create an Islamic State presence in the Christian-majority Philippines. He says they must be stopped before it is too late.
He cut short a visit to Russia and warned there would be a tough response, likening the situation to the 1970s rule of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, remembered by many Filipinos as one of the darkest chapters of their recent history.
Mr Duterte said martial law under Marcos was "very good" and he might consider more security measures elsewhere in the Philippines.
"I was asked what would be my response to terrorism and I said I would be harsh and harsh in enforcing the law," Mr Duterte told reporters upon arrival in Manila.
Soldiers and rebels set up checkpoints and road blocks on routes out of Marawi and a stream of men, women and children fled from late on Tuesday and on Wednesday, cramming into jeeps loaded with belongings.
The military gave few details about the clashes nor did they say if any rebels had been killed.
The armed forces said the situation was under control but residents who fled told a different story and said Marawi was in the hands of the rebels, who had allowed civilians to leave.
The rebels took hostage Father Chito Suganob, a priest at the city's Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians, and several other Christians, according to the head of the country bishops' association.
"They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled," said Father Socrates Villegas, president of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
Tuesday's raid was aimed at capturing Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf group notorious for piracy, banditry and for kidnapping and beheading Westerners. He is wanted by the US.