Islamic Militants Storm School In The Philippines

From Telegraph:
Pro-Islamic State militants stormed a town school in the southern Philippines early on Wednesday and briefly held several students hostage.

The attack happened on the same island where fighting between government troops and Islamist militants has entered its fifth week.

About 300 armed men, including members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), launched the attack on a school in Pigcawayan town in North Cotabato province on Mindanao island.

After holding some students captive, the militants later withdrew with no reports of casualties.

"It's already resolved," Brigadier General Restituto Padilla told reporters. "They've withdrawn, they are no longer there. The school area is again safe."

However, Padilla also said the military was investigating whether five civilians were still being held by the militants. He said no children had been taken hostage.

Earlier, a spokesman for the militant group said they had taken civilians to a safe place after a gunfight erupted with troops and did not intend to hold them.

Chief Inspector Realan Mamon, the police chief of Pigcawayan town, said the attack could have been be a diversionary tactic to ease pressure on the militants in Marawi.

Pigcawayan is 120 miles south of Marawi City, where BIFF militants, along with fighters from other groups allied to the Islamic State group, have been holed up and fighting the Philippines military.

Nearly 350 people have been killed in the month of fighting, according to an official count.

Philippine aircraft and troops launched a renewed push against the militants in Marawi City on Tuesday and a military spokesman said the aim was to clear the area by the weekend Eid festival, although there was no deadline.

The seizure of Marawi and the dogged fight to regain control of it has alarmed Southeast Asian nations which fear Islamic State - on a backfoot in Iraq and Syria - is trying to set up a stronghold in the Muslim south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines that could threaten the whole region.

0 comments. Leave a comment below.:

Post a Comment

Spam and abuse will not be published. You can use some HTML tags in your comments.

Thank you for reading and commenting.