|Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)|
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced plans to create all-Muslim fighting units on Saturday, with quotas from the Catholic country's largest religious minority, as it looks to bolster efforts to tackle Islamic insurgents.
Five percent of all new applications will be allocated for Muslims under the new order, military spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said in a statement, adding the eventual aim was to have a dedicated brigade or division to be deployed in the country's troubled south.
The Philippines is battling Muslim extremist militants in lawless southern regions, some of whom have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group.
Arevalo said the Muslim quota, which roughly reflects the proportion of the religious minority in the population, would help the army operate in areas where it has been previously viewed with suspicion by local people.
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