IS-linked group frees militants in raid


Muslim extremists in the Philippines supporting the so-called Islamic State (IS) have freed at least eight fellow militants in a violent jailbreak.

Police said at least 20 fighters from the Maute group stormed the Lanao del Sur jail the southern city of Marawi, disarming guards and stealing rifles.

The militants had been detained last week, after authorities caught them transporting homemade mortars.

At least 15 other prisoners escaped along with the extremists.

The escapees were facing murder and drugs charges, police said.

The Maute group has carried out several bombings and kidnappings in the southern Mindanao region.

The Philippines has faced separatist movements for decades in Mindanao, which is majority Muslim – the rest of the Philippines is mainly Catholic.

The Maute group carries the black flag and insignia of IS, and has attacked army troops, beheaded a soldier and beheaded two local workers earlier this year.

The militants kidnapped the two workers and made them wear orange shirts similar to those worn by IS beheading victims before they were killed.

Several armed groups in the Philippines have pledged allegiance to IS, although the country’s military says there is no evidence of active co-operation with foreign extremists.