The naval force of Indonesia in a counter-terrorism excercise in Banda Aceh (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Indonesia and the Philippines plan to conduct a joint maritime patrol this week as part of efforts to prevent militants of the Islamic State (IS) from entering the Philippines’ restive southern island of Minadao, where rebels have seized a city.

A Philippine military spokesman said on July 2 that the patrol is intended to strengthen border security and enhance operational collaboration between the two countries’ forces.

The two nations’ warships will sail from Davao city of the Philippines on July 6. They will patrol Davao gulf and common waters along the Celebes Sea.

Regional governments fear that fighters pledging loyalty to the IS will cross the sea from Malaysia and Indonesia to join rebels who seized Marawi city five weeks ago.

Over 400 people, including fighters, local people and the Philippines’ security forces, were killed during clashes.

On July 1, the Philippine navy was joined by the US in a patrol in the southern Philippine waters. Two weeks earlier, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines jointly patrolled their common maritime borders in the Celebes Sea and Sulu Sea.-VNA