COTABATO, Philippines, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Philippine state security forces killed three Abu Sayyaf militants as they clashed Tuesday in the restive southern Philippines, the military said.
Fierced gun battle erupted in Guiong village, Sumisip in Southern Philippine province of Basilan after soldiers encountered more than 100 members of Abu Sayyaf, said Capt. Albert Caber, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division.
He said soldiers fired artillery and used helicopter gunships against the militants in the clash that lasted for two hours.
"Three of them were killed in the fighting. There were no casualties on the government side," he said.
The Abu Sayyaf, active in southern Philippines, was founded in the 1990s and has perpetrated a number of high-profile attacks, including kidnapping, bombing and beheading. The Philippine military estimates the Abu Sayyaf, which has links with international terrorist organizations, has about 400 members at present.