A SOLDIER was wounded Wednesday in an encounter with suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu.

Western Mindanao Command chief Major General Carlito Galvez Jr. said the 10-minute clash between troops of the 69th Infantry Battalion and at least 20 ASG members started around 8:44 a.m. in Barangay Paligi, Indanan town.

Galvez said the clash occurred while the troops were conducting search and rescue operations of the ASG hostages.

Galvez said the Abu Sayyaf bandits were led by a commander Aldin Bagadi.

"Our troops are currently on the ground to pin down the Abu Sayyaf who are on the run and are evading military forces," he said, adding that the wounded soldier was immediately brought to the nearby hospital for treatment. (SunStar Philippines)