GOVERNMENT troops and 10 rebels identified with the ISIS-linked Maute group in Masiu, Lanao del Sur clashed shortly after midnight Saturday during combat operations by soldiers, military sources said.
The sources said troops from the 49th Infantry Battalion encountered the group of local terrorists in Barangay Kalilangan at around 12:20 a.m. No casualties were reported from either side.
ISIS stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and is an extremist militant group that rules by Wahhabi/Salafi law. In Arabic, the group is also known as Daesh.
An example of ISIS is the terrorist group that is known for kidnapping western journalists and aid workers as part of their tactics.
According to the military, the terrorists are members of a group headed by one Maute group (Daulah Islamiyah) leader Najib Pundog.
Troops recovered after the encounter an ISIS flag, drug paraphernalia, an M203 grenade
launcher, binoculars, a hand grenade, an RPG, and RPG fuses, anti-tank RPG and 40mm ammunition, the sources said, adding troops were continuing to scour the area.
The Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to international terrorist group ISIS, seized Marawi City in late May, resulting in an armed conflict that dragged on for five months, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to impose martial law throughout Mindanao.
Remnants of the terrorist group are believed to be recruiting civilians around Marawi City in exchange for money.
The martial law declaration in the southern region, which was supposed to be lifted in July last year, has been extended until Dec. 31, 2018.