MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military was chasing Al Qaeda-linked Muslim militants Friday, a day after a deadly clash with militants blamed for past attacks killed 10 soldiers and nine rebels, making for one of the bloodiest days in recent weeks in the volatile south.
Soldiers had attacked an Abu Sayyaf encampment early Thursday on Basilan Island’s Sumisip township after locating the group believed responsible for ambushes on rubber plantation workers and military units who were providing their security, the military said.
The initial battle left eight soldiers and four militants dead, Army Major General Ricardo Rainier Cruz said. The army sent more troops and sporadic fighting continued until the afternoon.
Later in the day, the militants fired at an army outpost in the same township, said Captain Albert Caber, a local army spokesman. They then separately ambushed two groups of reinforcements sent to back up the forces there.
No one was killed at the outpost, but two soldiers were killed en route to the area, Caber said.