Armed men storm Philippine village, take hostages

Armed men storm Philippine village, take hostages

Islamic State-inspired gunmen briefly seized a village in southern Philippines early on Wednesday and took hostages as human shields while fleeing, police said.

Government troops have been sent to repel dozens of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) gunmen who occupied Malagakit village, said police Inspector Realan Mamon.

A military official said the attackers also seized five residents whom they used as human shields as they fled, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mamon told a radio station that the gunmen stormed the farming village at around 5 a.m. He added that an unknown number of civilians were trapped in the gunfight between the government troops and the BIFF.

Police earlier said the armed men had stormed a school in Pigcawayan town.

The town is in located southeast of Marawi, where the government troops and the BIFF militants have been locked in combat since May 23.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of more attacks because of the IS inroads in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

The BIFF, which had split from the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over ideological differences, has been tagged by security forces as one of the insurgent groups in the Philippines that pledged allegiance to the IS terror group.

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