Officials in the Philippines said six people were killed following a battle between government forces and suspected militants in the central resort island of Bohol, AP reported.
The clash between suspected Abu Sayayaf and government forces, in which a soldier and at least fiver gunmen were killed, comes after the US government warned its citizens of the risk of kidnappings in the area.
The US embassy in the Philippines issued a travel advisory on Sunday for Cebu and Bohol provinces on “unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas.”
Abu Sayyaf militants are one of a number Islamist groups based in the south of the country. They are known for kidnappings and are suspected of killing a German yachtswoman and capturing her husband last year. A spate of sea kidnappings by the group in a crucial sea passage near Borneo has sparked concern in Manila.