Close  

Seven ex-MILF rebels killed by IS-linked gunmen

/ 01:24 PM October 05, 2019

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels stand guard at the entry of Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat town on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on September 7, 2019 ahead of a weapons decommissioning ceremony. (Photo by Ferdinandh CABRERA / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Seven former Muslim rebels have been killed in the southern Philippines, military and police authorities said Saturday, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

They said the dead were all members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), formerly the country’s largest guerrilla group but which began decommissioning weapons last month under the terms of a 2014 peace treaty.

ADVERTISEMENT

A pro-IS armed group called Dawlah Islamiyah attacked an MILF camp near the town of Shariff Saydona on Friday, sparking fighting lasting several hours, said Lieutenant-Colonel Ernesto Gener, commander of a local army battalion.

IS claimed responsibility in a communique seen by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity.

FEATURED STORIES

The jihadists said eight MILF members were killed, but local police commander Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold Santiago told reporters the authorities were only aware of seven deaths.

Locals said they saw seven bodies being loaded onto a boat at a riverbank in Shariff Saydona, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) south of Manila.

MILF spokesman Von al Haq declined to comment.

The MILF peace pact ended decades of Muslim rebellion that had claimed 150,000 lives by government estimates in the Mindanao region, home to the Catholic nation’s large Islamic minority.

The MILF was put in charge of a Muslim autonomous region as part of the peace accord, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said IS is attempting to set up a Southeast Asian stronghold there.

Hundreds of pro-IS gunmen seized the Mindanao city of Marawi in May 2017, sparking a five-month battle that left more than 1,000 people dead.

The MILF, sometimes with Philippine military help, has in recent years waged an armed campaign to flush out a number of pro-IS groups operating in the swampy farming region around Shariff Saydona.  /muf

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Attacks, Conflict, Islamic State, MILF, Philippines
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.