Soldiers killed in Abu Sayyaf fighting. File photo/ Reuters
MANILA: Three Philippine soldiers and four pro-Daesh militants were killed, and a total of 22 wounded during a brief, but intense, firefight on a remote southern island on Friday, the military said.
Troops of the elite 5th Scout Ranger Battalion clashed with about 80 members of the Abu Sayyaf group in the town of Patikul in Sulu province, said Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesman for the military's Western Mindanao Command.
“The 30-minute fierce firefight resulted (in) four killed and nine wounded on the enemy side,” he said.
The notorious Abu Sayyaf group has been known for extortion, kidnappings, beheadings and bombings, and has pledged allegiance to Daesh militants in Iraq and Syria.
The group in Patikul was believed to be led by Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, identified by security authorities as the mastermind in a church bombing in Sulu in January.
The bombing, which killed more than 20 people and wounded more than 100, including civilians and soldiers, was a suicide attack by an Indonesian couple helped by the Abu Sayyaf group, Philippine authorities have said.
Besana said 13 soldiers and nine militants were wounded during the latest clash in Patikul, where Philippine troops have been pursuing those behind the church attack.
The soldiers' injuries were mostly slight, from shrapnel, and they were now in stable condition, he added. But the whereabouts and condition of the injured militants were unknown.
Reuters could not immediately verify the military report.
The brutal 600km MacArthur competition in the Philippines pits competitors against searing heat, wild seas, vicious predators and even kidnapping.
Philippines’ annual inflation eased more than expected in June as food and fuel costs increased at a slower pace, the statistics agency said on Friday, supporting views that the central bank would cut rates at its policy meeting in August.
The head of a Philippine online news site, among media agencies deemed critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, was arrested again on Friday, this time over an alleged investment violation.
The UAE's diplomatic missions around the world are witnessing a significant turnout of voters for the Federal National Council, FNC, Election 2019.
"I would like to say sorry because today is your birthday and your great life partner is with me."
"During our treks we usually take trash bags on our treks but accidentally forgot them, next time will do more. Our citizens need to be educated to enjoy this beautiful county but be responsible tourists," he said.