MANILA, Philippines – Philippine military officials say government forces have killed eight suspected sympathizers of the Islamic State group in the southern Philippines.
Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat says the militants were killed in a brief clash at dawn Thursday with Filipino marines in a hinterland off Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat province. They were mostly Filipinos but one was possibly Indonesian.
Salamat says 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 the Islamic State group leader last year.
Security officials say some Filipino militants have pledged support to the Islamic State group leader but there is no evidence they have an active collaboration with the brutal group based in Syria and Iraq.