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Philippine military, MILF: Marawi crisis spilling over

PHILIPPINE MILITARY, MILF: MARAWI CRISIS SPILLING OVER

The Philippines' Marawi crisis is spilling over to other provinces in the country's south, officials of the military and the Moro rebel group have said.

This came after President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that fully armed Daesh-inspired militants had been sighted in the hinterland of Buldon, Maguindanao, central Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Saturday confirmed Duterte's assessment that the Maute group has already expanded its influence outside Marawi, the site of an extended siege since this May.

"That's why the Moro Islamic Liberation Front [MILF] are now doing their best to contain the situation in Maguindanao," Galvez told defense reporters covering the Marawi conflict.

Inquirer online on Friday reported that MILF spokesperson Von Al Haq asked their men to immediately verify Duterte's claim and thus confirmed it.

"They could be heading to the town of Butig because it's just near Buldon or in Maguindanao," Al Haq was quoted as saying.

He said they cannot mobilize their forces to hunt down these militants because they also have an ongoing campaign in other parts of Maguindanao against extremist groups.

"We need resources and bullets," he added.

On its official website, the MILF said the Marawi crisis spilling over is the natural consequence of an illness not addressed properly, an "unfortunate situation."

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