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Philippines says it has killed commander of Abu Sayyaf extremist group

The Philippine military chief says marines have killed an Abu Sayyaf extremist commander considered to be one of the most notorious kidnappers in the country's south.

Leader's body identified by other captured Abu Sayyaf militants, says Philippine military chief

Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano says Alhabsy Misaya, an Abu Sayyaf extremist commander, was slain in a clash with marines late Friday in the jungles between the towns of Indanan and Parang in Sulu province. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press)

The Philippine military chief says marines have killed an Abu Sayyaf extremist commander considered to be one of the most notorious kidnappers in the country's south.

Military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano tells The Associated Press that Alhabsy Misaya was slain in a clash with marines late Friday in the jungles between the towns of Indanan and Parang in Sulu province. Misaya has been blamed for abductions of dozens of Malaysians and Indonesian hostages, including one who was beheaded.

Ano said Saturday that Misaya's body was identified by captured Abu Sayyaf militants.

Marites Flor, left, her boyfriend, Robert Hall, centre, and John Ridsdel were taken hostage by Filipino militants in 2015. (Site Intelligence)

The Philippine military has been undertaking a major offensive against the Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings. The brutal group is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States, the Philippines and Canada.

Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall were kidnapped and killed by Abu Sayyaf in April and June 2016, respectively.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would "work with international allies to bring those responsible to justice, however long it takes."

With files from CBC News