At least 44 Daesh affiliated militants were killed and 26 others injured by Philippine soldiers in an ambush on their positions in the southern Maguindanao province. The province is held by rebels affiliated to ISIS terror group operating in Iraq and Syria.
The fighting, initially with about 50 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), broke out in a remote village in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town on Thursday morning and were driven out by the military.
The military launched artillery attacks with air support as the number of BIFF fighters had risen to about one hundred during the fighting. Intelligence reports indicate that the militants in southern Philippines were regrouping, retraining and recruiting new members for another attack elsewhere after occupying the southern city of Marawi for five months last year
The military in the Philippines classifies the BIFF, which it said has about 300 members, as a terrorist organization, along with the Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups.