The Philippine forces organized a massive manhunt on Saturday, April 22 in a central resort province, which resulted in the killing of four militants suspected for possible kidnapping and bombing plots.
Army troops and police killed ringleader Joselito Melloria near Clarin town in Bohol province. Melloria’s companions fled and three of them were later killed by troops, military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano said.
“They dared to go to an unfamiliar area and they couldn’t find any support from villagers in Bohol,” Ano said, adding that troops were continuing to hunt down the remaining militants.
Earlier this month army troops had detected the Abu Sayyaf militants and killed their leader Muamar Askali. Melloria fled with at least seven other militants. President Rodrigo Duterte offered a 1 million peso ($20,000) reward for information leading to their capture.
Because of the terror plots, Western countries have warned citizens to avoid traveling to the central region.
The United States and the Philippines list Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization because of its bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings.