MANILA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Four government troops and four Maute group terrorists have been killed in a clash in southern Philippines, the military said on Friday.
Gerry Besana, the spokesman of the Philippine military Western Mindanao Command, said the clash broke out around 5:00 p.m. local time on Thursday in a town in Lanao del Sur province of southern Philippines. Two other soldiers have been injured, he added.
"The gunfight ensued for an hour and 30 minutes," Besana said. He said troops recovered a variety of weapons.
Thursday's clash took place three days after army troops clashed with Maute fighters in Pagawayan town, also in Lanao del Sur, leaving two Maute men and two soldiers dead, and a soldier wounded.
Romeo Brawner, the commander of the Philippine Army's 103rd Brigade, said one of those terrorists killed in the clash is believed to be the Maute group leader Abu Dar.
"We have recovered bodies of four slain terrorists. We believe that one of them is Abu Dar based on accounts of our informants. We are validating this," Brawner said.