One dead, eight wounded as sporadic fighting continues in southern Philippines

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-23 23:51:33|Editor: yan
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MANILA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- A policeman was killed and at least eight soldiers wounded in the ongoing fighting between government forces and rogue rebels in southern Philippines on Tuesday, a military spokesman said.

As of press time, sporadic fighting is still ongoing in Marawi City, a predominantly Muslim city in Lanao del Sur province in the southern Philippines, the spokesman said.

Army Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera told CNN Philippines that the rebels torched at least three buildings in the city in bid to deflect the attention of government troops.

The rebels hoisted the black IS flag when they arrived, he added.

Gen. Eduardo Ano also told CNN Philippines that President Rodrigo Duterte, who is on an official visit to Russia, has been briefed of the situation.

The police reported Tuesday afternoon that a group of bandits belonging to Maute, a loose armed criminal group with alleged links to the Islamic State, occupied a local hospital in the city.

Clashes broke out as troops and police raided an apartment where more than a dozen bandits reportedly hid, police said.

"Our operation is still ongoing in Malawi City and sporadic firefight is till continuing," Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a statement Tuesday night.