Improving vocabulary with the BBC – Listen While You Read.

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Legislators in the Philippines have voted overwhelmingly to extend the martial law to deal with an Islamist insurgency in the island of Mindanao. (Overwhelm: To overpower; to overcome completely. Insurgency: An act of rebellion, revolt.)

Militants linked to so-called Islamic State have been occupying parts of Marawi, a city in the south, since May.

President Rodrigo Duterte said the extension was necessary to crush the insurgency, but his critics say it is part of a wider power grab. (Crush: To destroy forcibly.)

Mindanao is home to a number of Muslim rebel groups seeking more autonomy. (Autonomy: Independence, freedom)

It is a sensitive issue in the Philippines, where martial law was imposed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for much of his rule.

A previously imposed 60-day martial rule was due to expire on Saturday. It went into effect on 23 May, just hours after deadly clashes between the army and gunmen linked to so-called Islamic State.

The extension means the law will now remain in force until 31 December.

In May, President Duterte warned that martial law could be extended across the Philippines after insurgents killed police officers in Marawi.

Some opposition lawmakers questioned why it should be applied to the whole of the southern island, instead of just the city.

“I fear that the plan to extend the martial law in Mindanao will pave the way for a Philippines-wide martial law,” Senator Risa Hontiveros was quoted by AFP as saying.

Martial law allows the use of the military to enforce the law and the detention of people without charge for long periods. (Detention: to keep in custody, keep under restraint.)

We’ve today learned five words:

  1. Overwhelm
  2. Insurgency
  3. Crush
  4. Autonomy
  5. Detention

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