Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on October 11 announced that Russia will provide defence equipment to support the military’s fight against pro-Islamic State militants on the southern island of Mindanao.

Duterte said Russia will provide about 5,000 assault rifles in a deal to be signed this month. Millions of rounds of ammunition and dozens of army trucks will also be carried by five Russian warships to the Philippines, he added.

Earlier, China donated 6,000 assault rifles and 100 sniper rifles to help the Philippines tackle terrorism.

Duterte said the military needed to be properly equipped to handle Islamic State loyalists who had established a dangerous foothold in Mindanao. 

The fights between the Philippines’ Government and IS militants over the past five months have left more than 800 people dead while over 500,000 local residents had to flee.-VNA