The Philippine military says al-Qaida-linked militants beheaded two of the seven marines they killed in a clash with government troops.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay says two other slain marines suffered severe hack wounds during the gunbattle Thursday with Abu Sayyaf fighters in the jungles of southern Jolo Island.
The navy said Friday 26 other marines were wounded and the militants lost at least 13 fighters in some of the heaviest fighting this year.
Kidnappings and beheadings are the Abu Sayyaf's trademark that has placed it on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Tonsay called the atrocities barbarism.
The marines overran a militant camp but failed to capture their target, Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron.