At least two people were killed while 222 civilians were evacuated from the school compound in North Cotabato where members of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) holed up on Wednesday.
A military report said the evacuees were escorted at 8:16 p.m. from the Pigkawayan National High School.
One civilian and an officer from the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units were reported dead but their bodies have yet to be retrieved by authorities. A bomb was placed on the latter’s remains, the report said.
The report also indicated that 31 hostages have been released and were given stress debriefing.
The BIFF bandits stormed the school early Wednesday as they escaped from a firefight with the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion, after attacking a military outpost.
Authorities immediately responded to the scene. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Wednesday afternoon the situation was contained. DEMPSEY REYES