At least 14 Philippine rebel members of Abu Sayyaf (ASG) were killed and 19 others were injured in a two-day battle with the Philippine military in southern Sulu province, according to the authorities.

The military said the clash took place as government forces continued their campaign to wipe out the ASG, who are blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in recent Philippine history including the sinking of a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 killing 100 people.

Earlier, two Philippine soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded in a fight against 300 Abu Sayyaf fighters in the mountainous areas of Patikul town in Sulu.

ASG, currently comprised of 400 members, was formed in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network. It is notorious for funding its activities through kidnappings for ransom, including those of foreigners.-VNA