A Philippine court has sentenced to death seven members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group for an attack four years ago that killed 10 farm workers.

Dozens of soldiers and police guarded the courthouse on the southern island of Basilan, as the verdict was read to six of the convicted men Wednesday.  A seventh man is still at large.

Officials say the attackers were disguised as soldiers when they abducted the farm workers in August of 2001.  They beheaded nine of them and shot another before some of the hostages escaped.

Abu Sayyaf militants have fought for decades to establish an Islamic state in the southern Philippines.  The United States has formally declared it a terrorist group.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.