15 Philippine soldiers killed, two beheaded, in clashes with Abu Sayyaf

JOLO , Philippines, Aug. 30 (UPI) — Fifteen Philippine Army soldiers were killed, two of them beheaded, in clashes with the Islamist insurgent group Abu Sayyaf.

Another 10 soldiers were injured on Monday, the fifth day of a military offensive ordered by President Roberto Duterte against the terrorist organization. Gun battles took place all day in Patikul, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold about six miles from Jolo, the capital of the Philippines’ Sulu province. A spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines said troops engaged “more or less 120 heavily armed terrorists” in Patikul.