At least 18 soldiers dead in clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in Philippines
April 10, Manila: At least 18 soldiers have been killed in fierce fighting with Islamist militants in the southern Philippines, the military said.
It said that more than 50 other soldiers were wounded on Saturday during the clashes with members of the Abu Sayyaf group on Basilan island. Five militants including a Moroccan national were killed.
The army was reportedly targeting an Abu Sayyaf commander who has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
The US government has offered a reward of up to $5m (£3.5m) for information leading to the capture of Isnilon Hapilon.
At least four of the soldiers were beheaded in the clashes with about 100 Abu Sayyaf militants, AFP quoted a regional military spokesman as saying.
Among the five militants killed were a Moroccan, Mohammed Khattab, and one of Hapilon's sons, Ubaida, Reuters reported.
The Oslo Times