Seven soldiers killed in fighting in southern Philippines
Seven soldiers were killed Thursday in a clash with Muslim militants in the southern Philippines, a regional military spokesman said, dpa reported.
Twenty-one soldiers were also wounded in the fighting in Patikul town on Jolo Island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said.
Cabangbang said the soldiers were conducting combat operations when they encountered a group of about 70 Abu Sayyaf rebels.
The guerrillas were allegedly under Abu Sayyaf senior commanders Radulan Sahiron and Isnilon Hapilon, the military said.
Cabangbang said the military's island commander has requested additional troops be dispatched to the area and for a helicopter to evacuate the wounded soldiers.
The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines, as well as high-profile kidnappings involving foreign hostages.