5 South-east Asia countries including Singapore to discuss ISIS threat amid Marawi siege

Government soldiers are seen onboard military vehicles as they continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of the Marawi City, in Philippines on June 13, 2017.
Government soldiers are seen onboard military vehicles as they continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of the Marawi City, in Philippines on June 13, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - Indonesia Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Thursday (June 15) he would meet with his counterparts from the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore next week to discuss ISIS's threat in the region.

"This meeting is held to update each other, so we can be ready if anything happens," Ryamizard was quoted by Antaranews.com as saying.

Ryamizard said the meeting in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, would focus on finding ways to prevent the ISIS-linked Maute insurgents now holding part of Marawi in the southern Philippines from crossing Indonesian borders.

The city of Marawi, which is located on Mindanao Island, shares a border with Indonesia's North Sulawesi province. Marawi can be reached within five hours by boat from Indonesia's Morotai Island, one of the country's outermost islands.

"North Sulawesi is now on full alert because it is located near the Philippines," Ryamizard said, adding that the government had tightened security measures in the area, including intensifying sea patrol near the borders of Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

The Philippines government has imposed martial law in Marawi after Maute militants stormed the city.