Philippine marines killed eight suspected sympathizers of the Islamic State group in a clash in the southern Philippines on Thursday, seizing bomb-making equipment, assault rifles and black flags, military officials said.
The militants were killed in a brief clash at dawn in a hinterland off Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat province, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat said. They were mostly Filipinos but one was possibly Indonesian.
Recovered documents show the slain militants belonged to Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines, a new militant group with about 50 fighters who pledged their allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year.
Marines found two assault rifles, a pistol, bomb-making equipment and materials, two-way radios, documents and five Islamic State group-inspired flags, some of which were displayed at the militants’ encampment, according to a military report and Salamat.