Islamist militants these days generally refer to Islamic State or in some cases Al Qaeda. A lesser known organization working out of the Philippines is Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, or BIFF, who remain their own fraction while supportive of Islamic State.
Earlier today the group stormed a school in the southern part of the Phillipines and occupied this with as many as 300 armed men.
Abu Misry Mama, a spokesperson for the group, stated during the occupation that the hostages would be freed and unharmed, “We are not kidnappers” he said.
The BIFF and the Philippines government forces have been fighting for the hold of the larger Marawi City which if just 190 km (120 miles) north of the incident. Government forces however say that this occupation had no relation to this struggle.
All hostages were safely freed after an exchange of gunfire. BIFF militants had moved the hostages to a location where they would not be in risk of crossfire.
“It’s already resolved, they’ve withdrawn, they are no longer there. The school area is again safe. The troops are in pursuit mode.”
Brigadier general Restituto Padilla.
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