Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants engaged in a firefight with members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Sulu province on Friday, April 17. The fighting occurred in Patikul municipality and reports indicate that at least 14 other armed forces personnel were injured. An unspecified number of militants were also killed in the fighting, which occurred as armed forces personnel were conducting search operations in the area.
Further clashes are to be expected in the area over the near term.
Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated jihadist militant group primarily operating in the southern Philippines. It is notorious for kidnapping people for ransom, especially in southwestern Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
Individuals in Sulu province are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments