Four soldiers were killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sumisip, Basilan Saturday night
Two suspected members of the bandit group were also killed.
Capt Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command said four soldiers died in two related encounters against the bandits in Sumisip.
Basilan Gov. Jim Salimman also confirmed this Sunday.
Salimman said government troops established checkpoints in several areas in Sumisip which were identified as possible exit points of Abu Sayyaf fighters.
He said an encounter with armed men ensued in one of the checkpoints, which left two suspected bandits dead.
The military however said it is still confirming reports that Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in encounters with government troops.
Petinglay said, the military has been pursuing the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan in a bid to crush the terrorist group within six months.
They also set up a food blockade in several areas in Basilan to limit food supply to the hideouts of the bandit group.
RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News