Nine people including four members of the Philippine security forces were killed Tuesday in clashes with 10 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap group on the resort island of Bohol, authorities said.
The incursion would be the first on a key Philippine tourist destination in recent years by the group which pledges allegiance to the militant Islamic State (IS) group and often targets foreigners in the lawless southern Mindanao region.
Five gunmen were killed, and four assault rifles and an improvised explosive device were recovered in the fighting on Bohol island, officials said.
The incident took place in a remote area, with local officials saying the militants had used fast boats to reach a village where they squared off against security forces who went to investigate.
US and Australian embassies had warned their citizens this week about possible kidnappings by “terrorist groups” specifically on Bohol and Cebu islands.—AFP