A Philippine military spokesman says three al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants were believed killed in a clash with marines in the southern province of Sulu.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said troops traded fire for 50 minutes Wednesday with six Abu Sayyaf members led by sub-leader Jamiri Jawong Jawari in Patikul township. No one was hurt from the goverment side, but the marines saw rebels carrying away three bodies.
He says troops found at the clash site the seaman's book and other credentials of one of three Filipino fishing boat crewmen kidnapped by the Abu Sayaff last week off Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf is notorious for bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings. Washington has blacklisted it as a terrorist organization.