At least 17 people were killed and 40 were rescued after an Air Force C-130 plane carrying military forces crashed in a southern Philippine province. Philippine Defense Minister Delphine Lorenzana said rescue operations were underway. He said there were 92 people on board the plane, including three drivers and five crew members. The rest of the people on the plane were military personnel.
The plane was carrying military forces from the southern city of Cagayan de Oro. Government forces have been fighting for decades against Abu Sayyaf militants in the Muslim-majority province of Sulu. The reason for the plane crash was not immediately clear.
It is raining in central Philippines, but it was not immediately clear whether the weather in the Sulu region was also affected. The airport in Jolo, the main city of Sulu, is located a few kilometers from the mountainous area. Military forces in this area are fighting against Abu Sayyaf. Some terrorists have associated themselves with the Islamic State organization.
The US and the Philippines have blacklisted Abu Sayyaf on charges of bombing, kidnapping for ransom, and beheading. Although the Abu Sayyaf group has weakened over the years due to government action, it remains a threat.