Philippine soldiers hoist a national flag on April 25, 2017 after clashes with militants in the Piagapo area of Mindanao island. (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine military said on April 25 that it had killed almost 40 militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group, including three Indonesians and a Malaysian, in a major land and air assault in the south.

General Eduardo Ano, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the foreigners were among more than 160 fighters of the Maute group of militants who wanted to join the IS group.

Ano added that the foreigners were former members of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, which carried out the bombings in the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2002.

Jemaah Islamiyah has long had a presence in the southern Philippines and has trained locals in such skills as bomb-making.-VNA