Government troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu on Friday afternoon, resulting in the deaths of three terrorists, according to a military official.
Marine forces were on security operation in Panamao town when they caught up with some 20 fully armed Abu Sayyaf members under Radullan Sahiron, said Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu.
The firefight lasted for 10 minutes, after which the troops recovered the bodies of the three slain terrorists.
Sobejana said the bodies of the fatalities were turned over to the local government "so that they are given proper interment rites."
No one was reported killed or injured on the government side.
Sobejana said the operation also resulted in the recovery of an M16 rifle and a cal .45 pistol.
"We attribute the recent success in our campaign against the Abu-Sayaf kidnap for ransom group to the support and cooperation extended to us by the concerned Tausugs who wanted peace to reign in the beautiful province of Sulu," he said.
There are about 300 to 400 Abu Sayyaf members operating in Sulu. Authorities said the group is holding six foreign and three Filipino kidnap victims in the island province. —KBK, GMA News