MARAWI - Military troops clashed with armed men in an island off the town of Bacolod-Kalawi in Lanao del Sur Thursday morning, an official said.
Mayor Abdulmohaimen Dipatuan said a barangay official reported seeing 3-7 armed men on Balut island, which is just 3 kilometers from the town's shores.
A clash then reportedly started 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
Diptuan said he suspects the armed men were reinforcements of the Maute group currently fighting it out with state troops in Marawi's main battle area.
He said the island has been uninhabited for a long time making it a good hideout spot for the ISIS-linked terrorists. Bacolod-Kalawi is around 26 kilometers from this lakeside city.