Government yet to confirm killing of three Indonesians in Philippines

"The Indonesian Embassy in Manila has requested a confirmation on the report. However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have yet to confirm it," Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to receive a confirmation on the reported killing of three Indonesian citizens during an assault by the Philippine security forces on a southern island.

"The Indonesian Embassy in Manila has requested a confirmation on the report. However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have yet to confirm it," Director of Indonesian Citizens Protection and Legal Assistance of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lalu Muhammad Iqbal stated in a message received here on Wednesday.

It was reported that the Philippine local authority was scheduled to conduct a DNA test on some 36 Islamic State-linked militants who had died during a three-day air and ground assault on the southern island of Mindanao.

Indonesias Consulate General in Davao City had received information from the local authority stating that a passport, bearing the name MIS, was found. However, the AFP has yet to provide a confirmation on whether the passport was linked to the 36 victims and the location it was found, Iqbal noted.

Reuters had reported on Monday that the latest clash, on the main southern island of Mindanao, erupted on Friday when Filipino soldiers stumbled upon a well-fortified base of a faction known as Maute, guarded by some 150 fighters.

"We captured their main base," Brigadier-General Roland Bautista, an army division commander, informed reporters.

The faction that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State has been accused of carrying out bomb attacks, including one in President Rodrigo Dutertes hometown of Davao City in September that killed 14 people.

Bautista said the army had suspected that militants from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia might have joined the armed group, and an Indonesian passport had been recovered, along with arms and explosives.(*)

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