Security forces killed seven suspected members of an Islamic State-inspired militant group during a clash in the southern Philippines, the military said Friday.
Combined police and military forces attacked the suspects’ hideout in a village in southern Midsayap town on Wednesday, sparking a firefight that led to the casualties, local infantry commander Lt. Col. Glen Caballero said.
“The suspects engaged the security forces in a 30-minute gun battle,” Caballero said. Soldiers recovered several firearms, including sniper rifles, from the slain men, he said.
Officials identified those killed as members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a Muslim rebel faction that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).
BIFF claims to fight for full independence for Muslims in the south and is a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which had ended its insurgency in 1996 when it signed a peace agreement with the Philippine government in exchange for autonomy in southern Mindanao region.
Full story: BenarNews
Jeoffrey Maitem and Joseph Jubelag
Cotabato and General Santos, Philippines
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