11 militants killed in gun battle with troops
August 26 2016 11:19 PM
Soldiers wounded in an encounter with members of militant group Abu Sayyaf, receive treatment at a military hospital in Jolo town.


Eleven militants were killed yesterday in a gun battle with government troops in the southern Philippines, a regional military spokesman said.
Seventeen soldiers were also injured in the clash in Patikul town on Jolo Island, where the militants beheaded a Filipino hostage two days ago, said Major Filemon Tan.
The troops were on patrol when they encountered a group of about 100 members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, he said.
Among those killed was a junior leader who was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipino on the southern resort island of Samal in September. The two Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall were executed in April and June after a ransom was not paid, while the Filipino was freed in June.
The rebels are still holding captive Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, five Malaysians, eight Indonesians, a Dutchman and several Filipinos.
On Wednesday, Abu Sayyaf beheaded 18-year-old Patrick Jhames Almodavar after his family failed to pay a 1mn-peso ($22,000) ransom.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the military to crush Abu Sayyaf and also warned that the group could be a source of recruitment for the Islamic State 
extremist group.

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