ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines â€“ Marines killed six Abu Sayyaf fighters during a raid on a terrorist lair in Talipao, Sulu province over the weekend.
Six militiamen reinforcing the Marines were wounded in the fighting on Saturday morning in Barangay Mabahay.
Two of the wounded militiamen were airlifted to Zamboanga City for medical treatment.
Col. Jose Johriel Cenabre, 2nd Marine Brigade commander, identified four of the dead Abu Sayyaf as Rakib Jal alias Gala and Tikboy, Tuan Musa, Yusop Arab alias Talon, and an unidentified son of Abu Sayyaf fighter Ungah.
The raid was part of a military search for terrorists believed to be holding captive about eight hostages, including two Europeans kidnapped in 2012, he added.
Cenabre said Marines shelled the Abu Sayyaf lair at about 11:20 a.m. Sunday to dislodge the terrorists.
â€œNo casualty was reported on the part of the Marines, but six civilian volunteers that helped in the operation were unfortunately wounded,â€ he said.
They are verifying reports that Igasan, the top Abu Sayyaf leader operating in Sulu, was wounded in the fighting, Cenabre said.
Igasan, a foreign-trained Muslim religious leader, has been reported to have assumed the leadership of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.