Seven suspected Islamist militants killed in firefight in Philippines
Manila — Seven suspected Islamic militants have been killed in a shoot-out with security forces in the southern Philippines, military and police officials said Thursday.
The firefight erupted on Wednesday when a joint team of soldiers and police officers swooped down on a house of Mama Macalimbol, a suspected bomber, in Midsayap town in North Cotabato province, 915 kilometres south of Manila.
Macalimbol and the six other fatalities were believed to be members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) group, which has pledged allegiance to the militant group Islamic State, said Major Arvin Encinas, a regional military spokesman.
Troops recovered various high-powered firearms and ammunition from the house, Encinas said.
Brigadier General Alfred Corpus, a regional police director, said Macalimbol was the fourth most wanted man in Midsayap, where a court had issued a warrant of arrest against him for attempted murder.
The BIFF was a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed a peace agreement with the government in 2014.
The group later allied with the Islamic State and had been blamed for bombing attacks, extortion and other criminal activities.
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