Manila hails US move to blacklist two pro-Islamic State groups

MANILA, Feb 28, (Agencies): The Philippines hailed on Wednesday Washington’s decision to blacklist two local pro-Islamic State groups, including one which occupied the southern city of Marawi last year, triggering a months-long battle. The US State Department and the Department of Treasury designated the Maute group and the Dawlatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik as “terrorist organisations” on Tuesday, blocking US-based assets belonging to them or their supporters and barring Americans from dealing with them.

“The (move) is an affirmation of what Philippine authorities already know — that the Maute Group and the Dawlah-Islamiya are terrorist groups that need to be dealt with decisively using the full force of the law,” a statement by the defence ministry, under President Rodrigo Duterte, in Manila said. “They will be denied access to the US financial system and will face sanctions as may be deemed appropriate, making it more difficult for them to conduct their activities in the Philippines and abroad.

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