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Government troops on Tuesday clashed with the Abu Sayyaf group and foiled a plot of the militants to retaliate against civilians who fought and killed five of its members in Pangutaran island town off Sulu, a security official said.

Capt. Ben June Cerbo, acting spokesman of Western Mindanao Command, said the marines under the Naval Task Group Sulu were on security patrol when they encountered the Abu Sayyaf group consolidating at Barangay Panducan.

Cerbo said fighting erupted for almost half an hour and left an undetermined number of militants wounded that prompted the group to retreat.

“No casualty reported on the government side while undetermined on the enemy,” Cerbo said.At least five Abu Sayyaf militants under leader Salip Mira were killed following a botched abduction of a Filipino-Chinese businesswoman Guan Kim Lim Maujon after her Tausug family and civilian volunteers fought back last May 7.

Maujon was rescued but wounded as a result of the chase and gunbattle near Pangutaran.

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