(From Reuters)

The Philippines has dismissed as “purely propaganda” Islamic State’s claim that its militants killed scores of government troops  (Watch the video clip) in ambushes and said there was no evidence directly linking southern Muslim rebels to the group.

The clash with Abu Sayyaf was the largest single-day combat loss by Philippines government forces in Mindanao this year

The Philippines has reported 46 people killed in battles this week between troops and rebels from a group known as Abu Sayyaf on the island of Basilan. fighting raged for a sixth day on Thursday.

SITE Intelligence, a U.S.-based group that tracks online activity of jihadi organizations, reported Islamic State had claimed responsibility for killing nearly 100 Philippine soldiers and had blown up seven trucks transporting them.

Philippine military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the Islamic State claim was propaganda and its statement had “many gaps and inconsistencies”.

“We lost only 18 soldiers but killed 28 Abu Sayyaf members since fighting began on Saturday. Our troops continued to pursue them and we will not stop until we achieve a decisive victory,” Padilla said. Read More

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