One militant died and three others injured, including one soldier after an encounter between Philippine troops and Al Qaeda-linked militant group Abu Sayyaf in a predominantly Muslim southern island province of Philippines.
During a combat operation conducted by the troops from Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion, the army encountered with 15 Abu Sayyaf militants around 5am in a forested mountain of Barangay Kaumpamatsaken near Sampinit Complex, the military’s Joint Task Group Basilan said.
The clashes between armed forces and militants lasted for about 15 minutes, leaving one militant dead and injuring three others.The deadly encounter also left one soldier wounded, Cap. Ma. Rowena Muyuela, spokeswoman of the Western Mindanao Command told Anadolu Agency.
“It resulted in the injury of a soldier while we got reports one was killed and two others were wounded on the enemy side,” Muyuela said.
“Troops are currently conducting pursuit operations on the withdrawing bandits,” she added.
Abu Sayyaf is a militant group that has conducted several attacks in the southwestern part of the country since 1990s after the break away from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) which has demanded autonomy of the Moro people from the Philippines’ central government.
On May 4, Abu Sayyaf militants grabbed village chief of Aliguay Island alongside two Coast Guard personnel from their homes.
The group executed the village chief earlier this week and his head was found by the village officials on a roadside in Barangay Labah in Maimbung, Sulu province.
It is believed by the Philippine authorities that the militant group is still holding several hostages in the island province of Sulu, including a mayor, the grandson of a mayor from a local political clan and a Dutch birdwatcher who were kidnapped by the group three years ago.