Philippine police say two Muslim militants have been arrested with guns, explosives and Islamic State group-style black flags in a northern province far from the traditional lairs of Muslim militants in the volatile south.

National police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Monday the arrest last week of the two militants in Baggao town in Cagayan province in the northern tip of the main Luzon island was not an indication that IS-linked militants have been able to expand their presence far beyond their traditional southern bases.

Police say the militants, Altero Bello and Greg Bello, belonged to an IS-aligned jihadist group called Syuful Khilafa Fi Luzon, which was established in 2016 but does not have a record of involvement in any violent attack in the largely Roman Catholic northern region.