Philippine troops battle ISIS-linked gunmen

2017-05-23 22:50


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Manila - Philippine troops battled heavily armed militants backing the Islamic State group in a southern city on Tuesday, as months of sporadic fighting in the countryside shifted alarmingly into an urban area.

Regional military spokesperson Joar Herrera said five government personnel were wounded in the clash with at least 15 fighters from a Muslim rebel group called Maute in the village of Basak Malutlut in Marawi, a bustling predominantly Muslim city in the Lanao del Sur province.

Troops and special police forces attacked a flat after the military obtained intelligence that Maute gunmen were hiding there with a top terror suspect, Herrera and another military official said.

"We're trying our best to contain the situation," Herrera said by telephone, adding that troops were moving carefully to avoid hitting civilians in the area of the fighting.

Officials said they were checking reports that the militants had entered a hospital and raised a black Islamic State-style flag.

Combat uniforms

The Maute group is one of less than a dozen new armed Muslim groups that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and formed a loose alliance in the southern Philippines in recent years.

It has been blamed for a bomb attack that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown, last September and a number of attacks on government forces in Lanao, although it has faced setbacks from a series of military offensives.

In April, troops backed by airstrikes killed dozens of Maute militants and captured their jungle camp near Lanao del Sur's Piagapo town.

Troops found homemade bombs, grenades, combat uniforms and passports of suspected Indonesian militants in the camp.

Read more on:    isis  |  philippines  |  security

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.