Soldiers of the Philippine army go on patrol in Marawi city of the southern Mindanao island (Photo: AFP/VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine security forces on June 10 launched airstrikes and ground assaults on Islamist militants' lair in Maguindanao province in southern Philippines.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, an army commander in charge of the operations, said the pre-dawn assaults on Liguasan marsh destroyed a bomb-making "factory" of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group of the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Sobejana added that up to 100 BIFF fighters were in the targeted area during the military assault.

The Philippine army is evaluating number of casualties, said army spokesman Maj. Arvin Encinas.

BIFF, which has up to 400 members, is among the several militant groups in Mindanao that pledged allegiance with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) a few years ago. They are active in central Mindanao area, especially in Cotabato city, in Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.-VNA