Two IS-allied militants killed in Philippines

Security forces in the southern Philippines have killed two members of a local Muslim extremist organisation sympathetic to the Islamic State group, a police report said Saturday.

Police commandoes raided a hideout of the Ansar Khilafa Philippines (AKP) group in the coastal town of Maasim on Thursday, killing two fighters, a police report said.

The commandoes recovered a cache of weapons including a sniper rifle, two carbines, rocket-propelled grenades, materials for making improvised explosive devices and a black flag of the IS group, which has captured large swathes of territory in the Middle East.

However the target of the raid, the group's leader, Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, escaped, the report added.

The AKP is one of several militant Muslim groups in the southern third of the largely-Catholic Philippines that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Authorities have said these groups have no direct link to IS and are merely using its name to gain prestige locally and in the hope of gaining the international jihadi group's support and funding.