( dpa ) - A commander of al-Qaeda-linked Muslim rebels was killed Thursday in a clash with government troops in the southern Philippines, a senior Marine officer said.
Major General Ben Dolorfino said Wahab Upao, an Abu Sayyaf rebel commander, was killed in a dawn combat in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi province, 1,020 kilometres south of Manila.
Dolorfino said Upao, for whom the government had offered a reward of 2.5-million-pesos (61,728 dollars), was wanted for the killing of a Catholic priest in a nearby town two weeks ago.
The Abu Sayyaf is the smallest but most violent Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines. It has been blamed for deadly terrorist attacks and high-profile kidnappings in the country