Three Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed, while 5 soldiers were wounded after a gun battle ensued in Patikul town, Sulu Saturday morning.
Joint Task Force Sulu said troops from the 21st Infantry Battalion encountered about 20 armed men in Sitio Tubig Paliya in the village of Danag.
The bandits, led by Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Ellam Nasirin, retreated a few minutes into the skirmish.
The ASG were fleeing the scene when they encountered another group of soldiers from the same the infantry battalion, who had blocked their exit route.
The second gunfight lasted for an hour, leaving at least 3 bandits dead. However, only 1 body was recovered at the site.
Government forces recovered an assault rifle, cellphones, ammunition, food packs and several personal items and war materials.
According to Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of the 11th Infantry Division, one of the slain bandits was Pinyon Abdurasa, son of Taullah Abdurasa, who operated under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, the self-proclaimed emir of ISIS in the Philippines.
Taullah Abdurasa was killed in a firefight in February also in Sulu.
At least 5 soldiers were wounded on Saturday.
Offensives against the ASG have been relentless in Sulu, as the Armed Forces try to rescue 5 Indonesians who were abducted by the group off Sabah, Malaysia in January.