At least three Abu Sayyaf Group militants were killed while 15 others, including 10 soldiers and five militants, were wounded in firefight that broke Friday morning in south Philippine province of Sulu, said security officials.
The military said the marines troops were on combat mission tracking kidnapped victims when they encountered about 300 Abu Sayyaf Group militants led by 5 commanders about 6:30 a.m. local time at the jungle of Patikul township.
Alan Arrojado, commander of the military’s Joint Task Group Sulu, said the firefight lasted for an hour.
He said pursuit operations have been on going, tracking down the Abu Sayyaf Group militants that split into small factions.
There was no immediate report or sighting of any of the remaining hostages.
The government troops have intensified the offensive operation following the rescue of the two captive Philippine Coast Guard personnel last week after the militants have threatened to behead their captives. Enditem