in Events in der Region
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MANILA， Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Skirmishes between the government troops and a local terror group in the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Sur continued with death toll of the militants reaching to 19， the military said on Monday.
Spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said 13 soldiers on the government side had been injured in the renewed clashes with the Maute Group， now occupying the town of Butig.
""The number of casualties may still go up at the end of the operation today，"" he said.
The military started pursuing the local bandits， numbering to about 300， after they occupied an abandoned municipal hall in Butig on Nov. 26.
Although the terror group brought the flag of Islamic State (IS) and pledged their allegiance to the terror group， Padilla said it did not mean that there was already IS presence in the country.
Maute group is an armed IS-influenced militant group composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and allegedly foreign fighters led by Abdullah Maute， the alleged founder of Dawlah Islamic or IS based in Lanao del Sur.