Seven soldiers were killed while 13 others were wounded in separate encounters with suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels in southern Philippines on Thursday, a military official said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said the fatalities included a military officer who was killed in action after his troops encountered Abu Sayyaf rebels in Kagay village, Patikul town in Sulu province at 6: 20 a.m. Thursday.
Zagala said another attack launched by the Abu Sayyaf in Kabuntakas village, Patikul town killed six soldiers and injured 13 others. "The incident in Patikul would not hamper military operations against the Abu Sayyaf. The AFP would continue to conduct its operations against these rebels," he said.
Patikul town is a known stronghold of Abu Sayyaf rebels who are believed to be behind the spate of bombings and kidnappings in southern Philippines. Manila, June 19: (Xinhua)