6 Philippine soldiers killed in clash with Abu Sayyaf militants

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-09 18:31:48|Editor: Zhou Xin
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MANILA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine military said on Thursday that six soldiers have been killed and four others wounded in fierce fighting with Abu Sayyaf militants in Basilan, an island province in southern Philippines.

The military said the fighting broke out around 12:41 p.m. on Wednesday in a remote village while government security forces were conducting "strike operation" in the area.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, a spokesman for the military in the Western Mindanao, said an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf extremists have also been killed or injured.

"As they edged towards the circumstantial road, operating troops were met with heavy fire by lawless elements believed to be relatives and sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf bandits," Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of the military's joint task force operating in Basilan.

Western Military Commander Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez vowed to intensify combat operations against the extremists to totally defeat the terrorists.

The Abu Sayyaf group was set up in the early 1990s. The militants are notorious for kidnapping-for-ransom, bombings and killing their captives when their multi-million-dollar ransom demand is not paid.

The group helped the fully-armed IS militants in taking over the southern Philippine city of Marawi in May.

The Marawi conflict, which had lasted five months, claimed the lives of more than 1,100 people, including more than 900 extremists and 165 soldiers and policemen.