Seven suspected Islamic militants killed in Philippines
Seven suspected Islamic militants were killed Sunday in a clash with government troops in the southern Philippines, the military said, dpa reported.
One Marine was also wounded when troops raided an encampment of suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels before dawn in Siasi town on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila.
Lieutenant General Ben Dolorfino, a regional military commander, said troops recovered 15 automatic rifles and four rifle grenades after the fighting.
He said the slain guerrillas were five males and two females.
Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero, an anti-terrorism task force commander, said the slain suspects were believed to be members of a terrorist cell operated by a Malaysian militant.
He said authorities were determining whether Malaysian Zulkipli Bin Hir, alias Marwan, a leader of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, was among those who escaped.
"We are also still identifying the dead," he added.
Two weeks ago, government troops killed influential Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad and six of his men during a clash in nearby Maimbung town.
Government troops have been conducting military operations against the guerrillas who have been blamed for deadly terrorist attacks and high-profile kidnappings in the country.