THE Philippine president has said a siege by Daesh-aligned militants of a southern city may end in 10 to 15 days, but warned that the threat posed by the group will continue to plague the country.

Rodrigo Duterte said he would try again this week to travel to Marawi City to be with government troops but acknowledged that bad weather and the danger posed by the militants have frustrated his travel plans.

“I think in 10 to 15 days it’ll already be okay,” he said of the protracted urban battle with the militants, whose supply of weapons has surprised him.

“But remember the new scourge is Isis, it will continue to haunt us,” he said in a speech before business executives.

Duterte revealed last Friday that he would likely extend the 60 days of martial law he imposed in the southern Philippines to deal with the Marawi crisis because the situation remains critical.

On May 23 hundreds of gunmen attacked Marawi, a centre of Islamic faith in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation with many Mosques.

The militants are believed to belong to at least four local armed groups that pledged allegiance to Daesh and joined in a loose alliance.

Several foreign fighters also joined the insurrection.

An unspecified number of gunmen are believed to have slipped out of the lakeside city.

After 50 days of ground assaults and air strikes, troops have recaptured most areas of the city, with the death toll recently surpassing 500.

About 300 civilians remain trapped in their homes in areas of fighting or are held by the militants.

Security officials received intelligence about the planned attack days before the unprecedented Marawi siege unfolded, but they, along with the president, have acknowledged they underestimated the militants’ firepower.

The militants’ vast arsenal reflects a failure to address the spread of firearms in the volatile region, where insurgents and armed groups controlled by politicians have long had a presence.