35 militants now dead in south Philippines clashes
Almost 35 members of a Daesh-linked group have been killed in two days of clashes between the Philippines military and the Maute Group.
The group -- believed to have around 200 members -- seized the building, a high school and mosque Friday, and hung Daesh flags at some nearby buildings and houses. Five months ago, they were flushed out of the area -- now abandoned by many of the town's residents -- in a major military offensive.
Troops are reported to have penetrated the town hall Monday morning and pulled down the black flags.
They then raised the Philippine flag and declared the town liberated.
Last month, authorities arrested three Maute members accused of involvement in a September bombing that left 15 people dead in southern Davao City -- President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown.
The military has described the group as being linked to the Abu Sayyaf.
The Abu Sayyaf is one of two larger militant groups in the south who have pledged allegiance to Daesh, prompting fears during a stall of a peace process between the government and the country’s one-time largest Moro rebel front that it could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.