Malaysia warns of IS militants fleeing to Southeast Asia hinh anh 1Malaysian police is conducting counter-terror drill in Kuala Lumpur (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA)Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has said intelligence reports indicated that foreign Islamic State (IS) fighters fleeing the Middle East are planning to shift their bases to Southeast Asia. 

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party on July 10, the Defence Minister declared IS is the enemy of the government.

He stressed that what happed in Middle East has a direct impact on Malaysia, adding that the region will be the IS’ focus and every member state of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) will have to look at this seriously. 

Given the urgency of the matter, the minister said he will be visiting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain this week to get latest intelligence reports on the militants and their whereabouts.

He also affirmed that Malaysia will fight the IS’ threats and will continue working closely with ASEAN countries to prevent IS militants from entering and controlling the region.

Malaysian military and security forces will take measures to ensure the IS will not be able to enter the country.

Recently, the Southeast Asian region has been on alert after pro-IS gunmen attacked Marawi city on Mindanao island, southern the Philippines, on May 25. Since then, nearly 400 people were killed while over 200,000 residents have fled their home. 

The Marawi siege has raised concern that the militants are trying to build a stronghold in Mindanao, threatening the region’s security.-VNA