MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military says marines have clashed with Abu Sayyaf extremists blamed for kidnappings and extortion and killed at least one of the militants.
Marine brigade commander Brig. Gen. Martin Pinto says marines were patrolling a wooded area near a hill in Sulu province’s mountainous Patikul town Saturday when they stumbled on about 30 militants. One militant was killed and an unknown number of gunmen were wounded in an ensuing 30-minute gunbattle.
Regional marine spokesman Capt. Ryan Lacuesta said Sunday that the marines patrolled the area to clear the passage of a military convoy on a nearby road.
On Friday, army troops attacked a separate group of Abu Sayyaf militants on nearby Basilan Island, sparking clashes that killed two soldiers and five militants.