MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine security officials say government forces have killed a suspected Muslim militant in new fighting in a central resort province where troops foiled possible kidnapping and bombing plots by extremists this month.
Officials say troops and police killed Joselito Melloria in a gunbattle with about seven militants Saturday near Clarin town in Bohol province. Melloria’s companions fled and were being pursued by troops.
Melloria, a convert to Islam and a Bohol resident, guided Abu Sayyaf militants from the country’s south to his Bohol village in Inabanga town to carry out possible ransom kidnappings and bombings. Troops, however, detected the militants and killed four of them in April 11 fighting that also left three soldiers, a policeman and two villagers dead. Melloria fled with at least seven other militants.