Seven suspected militants of the Abu Sayyaf militant group were killed in a clash with government troops near a remote island in the southern Philippine Sulu, the military said
Commander of the Western Mindanao Command Corleto Vinluan said the fighting broke out before 2am local time when patrolling troops intercepted a band of terrorists aboard a speed boat near the Sulare Island in Parang town, Sulu.
He said the troops launched the attack after receiving information about the plan of the terror group to conduct kidnapping activity in the mainland Mindanao region. The firefight lasted 25 minutes, he added.
The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is an Islamic separatist organization in the Philippines founded by Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani in 1991. Heavily influenced by Al Qaeda in its early stages, the ASG started as a splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). ASG is the most violent of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the southern Philippines and claims to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. The ASG membership consists primarily of young Tausug Filipino Muslims from the Sulu archipelago, south of Mindanao. The ASG attracts poverty-stricken unemployed young Muslims in the southern Philippines.
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