Sukhoi fighters at a military base (Source: thewarmy.com)
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia deployed Sukhoi fighters on June 18 at a base in the northern island of Borneo to strengthen security in case Islamist militants in the Philippines try to flee southwards.

Didik Krisyanto, the head of the air base in Tarakan, a town in North Kalimantan province, said that three Sukhoi fighters will remain for a month from June 16 to prevent radicals fighting the Philippine military in Marawi city from escaping to Indonesia.

Indonesian naval authorities asked local people, including fishermen in border areas facing the Philippines, to report any suspicious people.

A police mobile brigade corp were also been sent to northern areas on Sulawesi island to prevent militants from crossing the border.

On June 16, some of the Islamist militants who stormed Marawi city in the south of the country in May may have mingled with evacuees to slip away during the battle that has raged for almost four weeks.

The military said that up to 200 fighters, most of them from local insurgent groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, but also some foreign fighters, are holding out, using civilians as human shields and mosques as safe havens. - VNA