MANILA—Nine members of the Abu Sayyaf group were killed, while 5 soldiers were wounded Thursday in separate encounters in Patikul town, Sulu, the military said Friday.
In a statement, Joint Task Force Sulu said Abu Sayyaf subleader Julie Ikit was killed during a 45-minute firefight in Barangay Panglayahan early Thursday.
The body of an unidentified bandit was recovered in Barangay Kabun Takas on Thursday afternoon.
Seven other bandits died and 19 others were wounded in successive encounters, the military said.
Five soldiers were slightly wounded in the gunfights, it added.
JTF Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Divino Pabayo Jr., meanwhile, said the cooperation of the locals led to the success of the operations.