Three more ASG members killed in Bohol clash

MANILA-- Three more members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, who made the botched incursion last April 11, were killed during a firefight with government security forces in the hinterlands of Clarin, Bohol Saturday.

Bohol Provincial Police Office Chief Supt. Felipe Natividad confirmed that among those killed was Inabanga native, Joselito Melloria, the alleged contact and guide of the bandits in the April 10 landing in Inabanga town.

Melloria reportedly married a Muslim woman, converted to Islam and joined the ASG and was tagged as the group's guide in infiltrating Inabanga, Bohol.

The town proper of Clarin is 16 kilometers from the town proper of Inabanga, where government troops figured in a firefight with ASG members on April 11 in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Napo.

The April 11 encounter resulted in the death of five suspected ASG members, three soldiers and a policeman.

Among those killed in the encounter was Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Maumar Askali, alias Abu Rami.

Chief Supt. Noli Talino, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 director, said the gunfight started around 12 noon Saturday in Sitio Lagising, Barangay Bacane, Clarin town, Bohol.

The firefight is still ongoing, he said.

Talino said the ASG members who figured in an encounter with government troops in Clarin, Bohol were the remnants of the clash in the mountains of Inabanga, Bohol. p>Authorities earlier said the botched landing was an attempt to kidnap tourists in Bohol and thus gain additional funding for the group.

Reports said among the government troops operating in Clarin are members of the Clarin Police Station, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Special Weapons and Tactic, the Provincial Intelligence Branch Bohol and the Military Intelligence Group.

Source: Philippines News Agency