Philippine forces kill 8 suspected to have IS sympathies
Philippine marines killed eight suspected sympathisers of the Islamic State (IS) group in a clash in the southern Philippines yesterday, seizing bomb-making equipment, assault rifles and black flags, military officials said.
The militants were killed in a brief clash at dawn in a hinterland off Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat province, Brigadier General Emmanuel Salamat said. They were mostly Filipinos, but one was possibly Indonesian.
Recovered documents show the slain militants belonged to Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines, a new militant group with about 50 fighters who pledged their allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year.
Marines found two assault rifles, a pistol, bomb-making equipment and material two-way radios, documents and five IS group-inspired flags, some of which were displayed at the militants' encampment, according to a military report and Salamat.
"Our forces were moving to arrest them, but these lawless elements opened fire," Salamat said by phone. "We have received information that they were conducting bomb-making training and that they may take steps to expand their group, so they became a target of a law-enforcement operation."