An al Qaeda-linked militant group attacked targets on the southern Philippine island of Basilan on Tuesday.
Abu Sayyaf militants set off explosives at a sports stadium, and a Roman Catholic church. The attacks occurred in the Christian city of Isabela.
“They had a big plan, a major attack that we foiled,” Rear Adm. Alex Pama said.
“If they intended to carry out a Mumbai-style attack, then it backfired,” Pama told The Associated Press, referring to the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai by 10 gunmen who stormed two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a train station.
Philippine marines responded swiftly to the attacks. Three militants and three marines died in the ensuing gun battle.