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Philippines: 10 Abu Sayyaf Militants, 3 Soldiers Killed in Jolo Island Gunbattle

The Philippine military says troops have killed 10 members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in a gunbattle on the southern Philippine island of Jolo.

The military says three soldiers also died in the fighting, which happened Thursday near the town of Patikul. Philippine troops captured two militants.

On Wednesday, the Philippine military announced it had killed a senior Abu Sayyaf leader, Abu Sulaiman during a gunfight at a jungle hideout on Jolo island Tuesday.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo commended the military Thursday, for killing Sulaiman. She vowed to finish off Abu Sayyaf with what she called a "hand of steel".

Philippine troops and their U.S. military advisers launched an offensive against the group on Jolo in September.

Sulaiman was one of the leading terrorists wanted by U.S. and Philippine authorities. He claimed responsibility for the 2004 bombing of a ferry off Manila bay that killed more than 100 people.

He also was accused of masterminding the kidnapping of three Americans and a number of Filipino tourists from Palawan island in 2001. One of the Americans was beheaded during his captivity and another was killed in a rescue operation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.