Pursuing military and police personnel in Bohol have killed three more Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Clarin town, Bohol, raising the number of the slain brigands to four Saturday afternoon.
The first to be killed in the series of military operations was ASG contact and sympathizer Joselito Melloria alias “Abu Alih,” a native of Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Napo, Inabanga town.
Lt. Col. Ericson Rosana, 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson, said Melloria was slain during an encounter in Sitio Lagsing, Barangay Bacani, Clarin town at 12: 50 p.m.
Hours after Melloria’s death, three more ASG bandits were killed in follow-up operations in Sitio Lagsing.
Rosana said they are now in the process of identifying the bodies as he stressed that it is only a matter of time before the remaining bandits are neutralized.
No losses were sustained by government forces in this incident which also led to the recovery of Melloria’s M-16 automatic rifle fitted with a grenade launcher.
The fallen bandit is believed to be the guide of ASG sub-leader Muanmar Askali alias “Abu Rami” who, along with an estimated 11 bandits, made an incursion in Inabanga town last April 10.
These ASG members were reportedly about to make a kidnapping foray in the Bohol area when foiled by government forces in April 11, killing Askali and three of his men, along with three soldiers and a police officer, and an elderly couple.
Around seven bandits, with Melloria now assuming command, managed to escape the military offensive last April 11 and hid in the forested areas of the region, before being flushed out Saturday.(PNA)