Philpines:Muslim rebels occupy elementary school
Manila, Jun 21: A number of Muslim rebels attacked a southern Philippine village and positioned themselves in a school as they engaged troops in a gunbattle, according to the the local authorities.
The local media this morning, quoted the area's Chief Inspector Realan Mamon, as saying: "some 300 armed men among them members of at least one group affiliated to Daesh, had entered the school and engaged government forces in a firefight. Villagers fled to safety".
Similarly, Police chief of Pigkawayan town, said “I got a report that the attackers occupied an elementary school but it's not sure whether people were trapped in the fighting or were taken hostage,". Later Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said, “gunmen targeted an army outpost and a patrol base of pro-government militiamen, who fired back and were later reinforced by army troops. The attackers apparently were withdrawing, and took five civilians as human shields, none of them students.”
Spokesman for the attackers said. “they did not mean to take hostages and the civilians were taken only to help cover their withdrawal.” Philippine troops are fighting for a fifth week to dislodge at least 200 militants holed up in Marawi since last month. As of Tuesday, some 258 militants, 65 security forces and 26 civilians had been killed in the city, according to the military.
The Oslo Times International News Network