- Aug 3, 2020
Philippine troops clashed with Muslim guerrillas allied with the Islamic State group in the country’s south, leaving two soldiers and about 10 militants dead, military officials said Thursday.
The historically peaceful Marawi on Mindanao Island in the South was the site of a sustained siege by Islamic State loyalists, who wanted to claim it as an IS caliphate. More than 1,100 people — mostly IS fighters — died in the battle. Mindanao’s Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato says “the threat of terrorism is still there” and that extremist ideology and the plans for a caliphate continue.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the large rebel group in the Philippines who dropped their secessionist bid in exchange for broader autonomy, signed a pact with the government to establish a region with more powers and funding for minority Muslims in the south of the country and end a decades-long rebellion. The leader of the group said the plan was the best way to counter the current violence by an unrelated Islamist group in the southern city of Marawi.