Soldiers clashed with members of an Al-Qaeda-linked Muslim militant group in southern Philippines and killed one of its leaders, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.
Army troops fought the Abu Sayyaf militants on the outskirts of Isabela city on Basilan island on Tuesday, killing their leader Otong Halipa Linungan, said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro.
Linungan was wanted for a series of kidnappings carried out by the Abu Sayyaf in recent years, Bacarro said, although he did not specify the cases.
The Abu Sayyaf have carried out the worst terror attacks in the Philippines including bombings of ferries and public places. They have also kidnapped and murdered Christians and foreigners, including two Americans they seized from a Philippine resort in 2001.
The group has been linked by intelligence agencies to the Al-Qaeda network of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Soldiers in the southern island of Jolo, near Basilan, are still hunting down an Abu Sayyaf cell that is believed to be sheltering the two Jemaah Islamiyah militants, Umar Patek and Dulmatin who are wanted over the 2002 Bali nightclub attacks.