3 Filipino Soldiers Dead, 17 Wounded in Clash With Militants

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -

The Philippine military says three soldiers have been killed and 17 wounded in nearly two hours of fighting against about 150 Muslim terrorists in the south.

Regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan says Abu Sayyaf gunmen withdrew after the fierce clash on Saturday in the mountains of Patikul town in Sulu province, and are being pursued by government forces. He says an unspecified number of terrorists were either wounded or killed.

Tan said Sunday the terrorists were led by Radulan Sahiron, a one-armed commander long wanted by the U.S. and Philippine governments for his alleged role in kidnappings for ransom and other acts.

Malaysian forces killed three Abu Sayyaf gunmen and captured two others in a failed kidnapping attempt in Malaysia’s Sabah state near the southern Philippines on Thursday.