Aug 19, 2017 @ 22:25

By: Agence France-Presse

The Philippines’ largest Muslim militant group has launched a lethal offensive towards a splinter faction that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, police stated Saturday.

The combating between the 2 teams started about two weeks in the past within the marshy farmlands across the southern city of Datu Salibo on Mindanao island, regional police spokeswoman Tara Leah Cuyco stated.

Clashes between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its offshoot, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), passed off on Friday and Saturday, with six fighters from the unique group killed.

“The MILF is trying to force the BIFF out of the area. They do not want any trouble,” Chief Inspector Cuyco advised AFP.

A MILF guerrilla chief advised a video journalist working for AFP on Saturday: “We do not want them here. It’s an order from the higher-ups.”

The MILF, which has greater than 10,000 fighters, has waged a decades-long guerrilla warfare, first for independence and later autonomy for the massive Islamic minority within the south of the largely Catholic Asian nation.

It signed a peace treaty with the Philippine authorities in 2014 and is observing a ceasefire with the Philippine authorities whereas ready for the passage of a proposed legislation that may grant self-rule to the Muslim areas of the Mindanao area.

Senior MILF leaders have warned President Rodrigo Duterte to ship on authorities commitments underneath the peace accord, mainly the autonomy legislation, or threat irritating MILF members and inflicting them to defect to the BIFF and different pro-IS teams.

The BIFF, stated by the army to have a couple of hundred armed fighters, has been amongst a number of small armed teams in Mindanao which have pledged alliance to the IS.

The combating comes as the army fought a close to three-month battle in Marawi, a Muslim metropolis 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the north.

The combating in Marawi is being led by two different Muslim insurgent factions, the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf.

The Marawi battle has left 573 militants and 128 troopers and police dead, together with at the least 45 civilians, based on an official tally.(AFP)

Source: politics.com.ph