Indonesian military patrols after an explosive occured in Marawi city (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia is attempting to evacuate eleven of its nationals who have fled from a conflict area in southern the Philippines, said National Police Spokesman Inspector General Setyo Wasisto on May 29.

After intense clashes occurring between the Filipino army and Islamic State (IS)-linked insurgents in Marawi city on Mindanao island, all of the Indonesian citizens are in a good condition, he noted.

According to the Consulate General of Indonesia in Davao city and the Philippine police, the eleven people are in the Philippines legally to spread the teaching of Islam but do not have any involvement with the IS group.

Immigration Office Spokesperson Agung Sampurno confirmed that they had notified local authorities about their activities at the Abu Bakr As-Siddiq Mosque in Barangay Basak Malutlut village.

When the clashes happened, they were immediately evacuated to another mosque near a police station and are now under the protection of the police, Agung added.

The Immigration Office and Indonesian Consulate General urged them to return to their country, but they said they were still considering what to do next, Agung noted.

Last week, the Philippines declared an emergency status in the country’s second largest island, Mindanao, following intensified fighting between its army and IS-linked insurgents.

The fight began when the Philippine military and police were attempting to capture the militant Abu Sayyaf group leader, Isnilon Hapnilon. However, before detaining Hapnilon, another militant group linked to IS, Maute, raided the city.

The Philippine military has claimed that about 31 terrorists had been killed during the fight.-VNA