Pro-ISIS militants fan out to flee crackdown in war-torn Mindanao

Luzon - which, at 109,000 sq km, is as large as South Korea - is an ideal place for militants to retreat, regroup and plan a comeback.
Luzon - which, at 109,000 sq km, is as large as South Korea - is an ideal place for militants to retreat, regroup and plan a comeback.PHOTO: AFP/FLORENT DETROIT

Pro-ISIS militants are fanning out well beyond their enclaves in war-torn Mindanao island and moving to dense urban areas and far-flung towns and villages, where they can move around unencumbered by a military bent on eradicating them.

Last month, security forces arrested two suspected extremists in Baggao town in Cagayan province, on the northern island of Luzon. Taken from them were flags of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2019, with the headline 'Pro-ISIS militants fan out to flee crackdown in war-torn Mindanao'. Print Edition | Subscribe