At least eight members of the rogue group Abu Sayyaf were killed and three soldiers were wounded following an encounter in the southern Philippine province of Basilan on Monday morning.
Col. Carlito Galvez, commander of the Philippine Army's 104th Brigade, said government security forces attacked the lair of Furuji Indama and Isnilon Hapilon, two of the senior leaders of the Abu Sayyaf based in Basilan.
Galvez said government security forces were able to capture the Abu Sayyaf camp, which was 300 meters away from a lair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), after a three-hour gunfight.
"Based on the account of the operating troops, at least eight Abu Sayyaf men died in the encounter but there is no confirmation of it yet," said Galvez.
Col. Rodrigo Gregorio, spokesman of the military's Western Mindanao Command, said government security forces faced off with around 30 Abu Sayyaf members.
The group of Indama and Hapilon was involved in various atrocities in Basilan including kidnappings and bombings, said Gregorio.
He said the group was involved in the kidnapping of retired Australian serviceman Warren Richard Rodwell, who was released in March after more than a year in captivity.