Armed insurgents attack school in southern Philippines hinh anh 1Philippine anti-militant soldiers (Photo: AFP)

 Hanoi (VNA)Philippine police said pro-Islamic State (IS) militants on June 21 attacked the town of Pigcawayan in North Cotabato province in the Philippines’ southern Mindanao Island, occupying a school and holding several students hostage.

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were involved in a battle with the military, Realan Mamon, the Chief Inspector at Pigcawayan, said in a radio interview.

Pigcawayan town is 190 kilometre south of Marawi city, where the fighting between Philippine military and IS-linked militant groups, including BIFF, has entered its fifth week since May 23, claiming 370 lives, including at least 62 soldiers and three policemen.

About 258 militants were killed, including gunmen from Chechnya, Malaysia and Lybia during the fighting but many core leaders of the militants groups have been holding up in Marawi.-VNA