At least seven marines were injured in a suspected Abu Sayaff attack in the Philippine town of Talipao.

Officials said the marine battalion troopers were travelling in a convoy when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the road exploded.

The injured marines were taken to the trauma hospital in Jolo, Sulu, Philstar reported citing an army spokesman in Western Mindanao.

Brigadier General Alan Arrojado, who commands the joint task forces in Sulu, sad he believed the Abu Sayyaf militant group was behind the attack.

Days earlier, an Abu Sayyaf operative had been arrested in Sulu. Officials said a caliber .45 pistol and ammunition were recovered from the suspect.

Philippine military estimates that Abu Sayyaf has around 300 men in Sulu region. Days earlier the military said it was deploying 500 more specialist troops in the region to "to finish off the Abu Sayyaf.

The militant group is reportedly holding several Filipino and foreign hostages in the region.