ISIS-linked group free jailed comrades in Philippines

A general view of the provincial jail in Marawi City, in southern island of Mindanao on Aug 28, a day after members of Maute group, a Muslim extremist inspired by the Islamic State movement, rescued their jailed colleagues.
A general view of the provincial jail in Marawi City, in southern island of Mindanao on Aug 28, a day after members of Maute group, a Muslim extremist inspired by the Islamic State movement, rescued their jailed colleagues.PHOTO: AFP

Eight militants belonging to a group that has professed support for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have escaped from a jail in the southern Philippines.

Police said about 50 heavily armed members of the Maute group raided the local jail in the city of Marawi on Mindanao island on Saturday.

They freed their eight comrades, who had been arrested a week ago after soldiers manning a checkpoint found improvised bombs and pistols in the van they were travelling in. Fifteen other detainees, imprisoned for other serious offences, also escaped, said provincial jail warden Acmad Tabao.

The Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, has carried out kidnappings and bombings and is believed to have led an attack on an army outpost in February.

The armed forces said they have placed their units on high alert amid the hunt for members of the group.

The authorities are investigating the jailbreak and looking into why security had not been stepped up after the high-risk suspects were brought in.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'ISIS-linked group free jailed comrades'. Print Edition | Subscribe