Phillippines Philippine troops battled al-Qaida-linked Muslim extremists in the southern Philippines and officials were trying to determine today if a key leader was killed, the military said.
Army soldiers fought 60 Abu Sayyaf members Monday in mountainous Talipao town on Jolo island, military spokesman Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said. Talipao is 590 miles south of Manila.
The clash with the group headed by Abu Sulaiman, a senior Abu Sayyaf leader on a U.S. list of terrorists, also left two soldiers wounded.
Bacarro said Sulaiman is thought to have been fatally shot.
"All indications are it's Sulaiman," Bacarro said by telephone. "This would really be a major blow to the Abu Sayyaf once we've confirmed it's him."