ZAMBOANGA CITY: The military on Saturday said troops killed at least six Abu Sayyaf militants in separate clashes in Basilan and Sulu provinces where government forces are battling the jihadist group.
Eleven soldiers were also wounded in the fighting since Friday and had been airlifted to a military hospital in Zamboanga City, it added.
The military said soldiers recovered the bodies of two terrorists, who were later identified as Radzmil Jannatul and Guro Arah.
Both were killed in clashes in Tipo-Tipo town and soldiers also recovered a .50-caliber machinegun left behind by fleeing bandits.
Nine soldiers were injured in the fighting in Tipo-Tipo, according to the Western Mindanao Command.
It said four Abu Sayyaf gunmen were also slain in the village of Langpas, Indanan town in Sulu, and that two Army soldiers were wounded in the clash.
The bodies of the gunmen were retrieved by troops.
The military said operations against the Abu Sayyaf were continuing in the provinces.
Also on Friday, gunmen also attacked soldiers in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur but the military did not release any report about the incident, although other sources in the area said troops also recovered improvised explosives there.
The attack has been largely blamed on the group of jihadist leader Abdullah Maute, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Maute was also behind numerous attacks on military targets in the province and nearby areas.