Philippine troops kill 5 Abu Sayyaf gunmen in clash, seize militants' camp

A Philippine military spokeswoman says government forces killed at least five Abu Sayyaf gunmen and seized their camp after a clash in an ongoing offensive in the southern Philippines.

Marine Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela says army and marine forces were on their way to arrest an Abu Sayyaf commander on Sunday when an undetermined number of militants opened fire at them, sparking a clash in a village near Sumisip town in Basilan province. She said there were no military casualties.

Muyuela said on Monday that the encampment had 10 huts, trenches and fox holes that could accommodate about 50 militants.

Government forces have launched a new campaign against the Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for a series of kidnappings of Filipino villagers and foreign tourists in the south.