Two soldiers killed in Abu Sayyaf attack in southern Philippines (dpa German Press Agency)

Manila (dpa) – Two soldiers were killed in an attack by Islamist Abu
Sayyaf rebels in the southern Philippines, a regional army commander
said Monday.

The victims were ambushed Sunday by the al-Qaeda-linked guerrillas on
a remote highway in Patikul town on Jolo Island, some 940 kilometres
south of Manila, according to Brigadier General Alan Arrojado.

Arrojado said the victims, who had just come from the town market,
were riding on their motorcycles on the way back to the camp when
they were waylaid by an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf rebels.

“They died on the spot due to several gunshot wounds,” Arrojado said.

Pursuing troops were able to catch up with the attackers triggering a
firefight but there were no reported casualties.

Troops were recovered two rifles and a mobile phone left behind by
the fleeing rebels, Arrojado added.

The Abu Sayyaf is the smallest but most violent Islamist rebel group
in the southern Philippines. The guerrillas have been responsible for
deadly terrorist attacks in the country and involved in high-profile
kidnapping for ransom.