Muslim militants who pledge allegiance to the Islamic State group have killed a soldier and wounded three civilians in bomb attacks in the southern Philippines, the military said today.
Security forces on the main southern island of Mindanao have been pursuing pro-IS armed groups following a five-month battle with militants for the city of Marawi last year that left more than 1,100 dead.
The soldier was fatally hit Tuesday while his unit was tracking Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) gunmen on a mountain trail near the town of Datu Unsay, regional military spokesman Captain Arvin Encinas told AFP.
"The dead soldier was involved in a clearing operation (against the BIFF)," Encinas added.
He said both military units were pursuing BIFF members who had clashed with security forces in the same region on Saturday, a firefight that left a soldier and five militants dead.
"These are students of Marwan. There's quite a few of them," Encinas said of the bomb makers, referring to Zulkifli's alias.
The Muslim minority of the mainly Catholic Philippines considers Mindanao as its homeland. Decades of armed rebellion in the region have claimed more than 100,000 lives according to official estimates.
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