7 Abu Sayyaf militants killed in clash with government troops in southern Philippines

MANILA (XINHUA) - Seven suspected militants of the Abu Sayyaf militant group were killed in a clash with government troops near a remote island in the southern Philippine Sulu province before dawn on Tuesday (Nov 3), the military said.

Commander of the Western Mindanao Command Corleto Vinluan said the fighting broke out before 2am local time when patrolling troops intercepted a band of terrorists aboard a speed boat near the Sulare Island in Parang town, Sulu.

He said the troops launched the attack after receiving information about the plan of the terror group to conduct kidnapping activity in the mainland Mindanao region. The firefight lasted 25 minutes, he added.

Troops from the elite Scout Rangers and Special Forces used an attack helicopter and a multi-purposed attack craft to defeat the terrorists, said military commander on the ground William Gonzales, who planned the operation.

"Search and retrieval operations are ongoing using our air and naval assets in the area of engagement," he said in a statement.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.