MANILA, Philippines — Philippine troops battled about 100 Muslim militants Friday in fierce fighting that killed seven gunmen and a soldier and wounded a top militant commander long wanted by both the Philippines and its U.S. ally, a Filipino general said.
Another 16 soldiers and five militants were hurt in the clash that erupted when troops approached rebels from the Abu Sayyaf group in a jungle off Patikul town in predominantly Muslim Sulu province, said Brig. Gen. Allan Arrojado.
Among them was one-armed rebel commander Radulan Sahiron, who led the Abu Sayyaf faction, Arrojado said.
The U.S. government has offered $1 million for any information leading to the capture and prosecution of Sahiron, one of the original Abu Sayyaf commanders who has endured years of fighting and has been blamed for several bomb attacks and kidnappings.