MANILA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- At least three soldiers, a policeman and five bandits were killed in a clash broke out between government forces and the Islamist extremists on Tuesday in the central Philippine Bohol province,the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) said.
Gen. Eduardo Ano, the AFP's chief of staff, said in a statement that government troops and police "encountered a group of heavily armed lawless elements in Bohol" around 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
Ano said that the military launched the "security operation" in the wake of the intelligence reports that at least 10 armed men aboard three pump boats were sighted on the riverside of that village.
"The information came for alert residents and other citizens," Ano said.
Ano said that the heavily-armed group has been "cornered in an isolated" area of the village.
"Additional forces from the Army, Air Force and the Navy are now onsite to assist engaged AFP personnel and law enforces," Ano said, adding that "firefight is still ongoing."
A latest statement issued by the military and police in central Philippines said that three soldiers, a policeman and five Abu Sayyaf members were killed in the firefight.
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