Philippines Military Plane Carrying 92 Soldiers Crashes in Abu Sayyaf Infested Region

A Philippines military plane carrying 85 people crashed on Sunday in the country's southern province of Sulu.

"While transporting our troops from Cagayan de Oro (on the southern island of Mindanao), it missed the runway, trying to regain power but it didn't make it," armed forces chief General Cirilito Sobejana said.

The officials told Reuters news agency that plane crashed a few kilometers from the Jolo airport.

Philippine troops kill 4 Abu Sayyaf militants in Bohol
Philippine troops Reuters

Most of passengers on the plane were recent graduates from basic military training and were presumably being deployed in the restive province, where the Philippines military has a sizable presence.

As per the latest update, the military says at least 17 people were killed in the crash. The Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft went up in flames after crashing at Patikul in Sulu province, even as the pilot was attempting a landing there.

17 Bodies Recovered

"So far 40 wounded and injured were rescued and 17 bodies recovered. Rescue and recovery is ongoing," Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement. He said 92 people were on board the aircraft.

Abu Sayyaf militants in Philippines
A military truck tows a 105 mm howitzer as soldiers arrive in Jolo, Sulu southern Philippines October 16, 2014. Reuters

The military also said there was no indication of any attack on the plane. However, military spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said an investigation will be held, the Manila Times reported.

The Abu Sayyaf guerillas are highly active in the southern Philippines province of Sulu, where they conduct kidnap for ransom attacks as well as attacks on the military. The Islamist insurgency, which has been active since the 90s has often been linked with global terror outfits like the Isis.

In one of the recent attacks by the Abu Sayyaf, nine people including soldiers had been killed in August 2020.