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Foreign fighters involved in Marawi clash –officials

Government officials on Friday revealed that foreign terrorists were involved in the clashes between the security forces and ISIS-inspired group.

In a press conference in Davao City following the special Cabinet meeting the night before, Solicitor General Jose Calida said that ISIS named Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon as its emir or leader in the Philippines.

"What's happening in Mindanao is no longer a rebellion of Filipino citizens. It has transmogrified into invasion of foreign terrorists who heeded the clarion call of the ISIS to go to the Philippines if they find difficulty in going to Iraq or Syria," he said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. confirmed Calida's statement.

He said that the group that attacked Marawi City included Malaysians and Indonesians.

"In the fight that has been ongoing in Marawi, we are continuously verifying that there have been a number of them have been killed. There is certain information that we received which confirms the killing of 12 members of this group and about half of that number are foreign terrorists–Malaysians, Indonesians… That confirms the presence of these foreign terrorists," he said.

"Malaysians, Indonesians from Singapore and other foreign jihadists… And that's the bothersome. Before it was just a local terrorist group, but now, there is now an ideology. They have subscribed to the ideology of the ISIS and they have pledged allegiance to the flag of ISIS. So, they want to create Mindanao as part of the caliphate," Calida also said.

Padilla, meanwhile, said that the Philippine government had already reached out to the governments of the said foreign terrorists.

[Source: By Trisha Macas, GMA News, Phl, 26May17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 29May17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.