(Photo: EPA/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine forces shot dead two terrorists carrying an improvised explosive device (IED) in the southern province of North Cotabato on August 8.

The two aboard a motorcycle attempted to transport the IED but were stopped at a military checkpoint for inspection, Philippine army spokesman Arvin Encinas said.

They attempted to run away when the troops approached to check them, he said, adding one of them shot the troops. This prompted the troops to shoot back, killing the two people on the spot.

The troops found a pistol and an IED inside a paper bag from the two, who were believed to be members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Encinas further said.

The BIFF, established in 2010 by former MILF commander Ameril Umbra Kato, is among the armed groups in Mindanao that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria a few years ago.

According to the Philippine government and military, there are up to 400 BIFF terrorists operating in the southern Philippines.-VNA