Philippine Military: Vietnamese Hostage Killed During Clash

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine military official says a Vietnamese hostage has been killed during a gunbattle between his militant captors and government troops that also left four militants and a soldier dead in the country’s south.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said troops found the body of Viet Van Tran after the fighting Saturday in the jungles of mountainous Patikul town in Sulu province, where ransom-seeking Abu Sayyaf militants are holding several Filipino and foreign hostages.

Sobejana said Thursday the victim may have been hit in the crossfire or shot by the militants when he tried to escape during the fighting.

The victim was one of six Vietnamese crewmen abducted by the militants in an attack on their cargo ship in February.

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