CEBU – Philippine soldiers killed a leader of the ISIS-affiliate Abu Sayyaf group in a clash Saturday in the town of Clarin in Bohol province where security forces continue to pursue the militants.
Officials said Joselito Melloria was killed along with 3 other followers in the village called Bacani where troops have been scouring for other militants that managed to escape from military forces in Inabanga town.
A dozen militants had been killed so far in the fighting since last week following the landing of a group of Abu Sayyaf members who arrived in 3 speedboats from Sulu in southern Philippines.
Officials said aside from Melloria, another militant leader, Muamar Askali, was also slain in Inabanga town, including several soldiers and policemen.
Melloria was a former member of the communist rebel group New People’s Army. He joined the jihadist Maute group in Lanao del Sur, also in southern Philippines before becoming an Abu Sayyaf leader, whose group pledged alliance with the Islamic State. (Cebu Examiner)
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