ISIS has claimed that up to 40 Filipino soldiers and officers were killed by its cells during recent clashes in the province of Maguindanao.
In a statement released by the Amaq news agency on March 6, the terrorist group said that the clashes took place in the town of Satan on March 2. Government troops were allegedly targeted with machine guns and several improvised-explosive devices (IEDs).
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) carried out large operation against the ISIS-affiliated Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao on March 2. However, no losses in the army’s ranks were reported, contrary to ISIS claims.
Major Arvin Encinas, a spokesman for the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said that the operation targeted a BIFF faction led by leader Salahudin Hassan Karialan.
“We are pursuing the enemies to disallow their treacherous plots in the peaceful communities of Maguindanao,” the spokesman said, according to Rappler.
In the course of the operation, the AFP eliminated three ISIS-affiliated fighters. However, many others managed to flee army forces.
The BIFF is one of several ISIS-affiliated groups in the Philippines. Despite an increase in these groups’ activisits, the situation in the country remain under control as a result of the continues efforts of the AFP.