Philippine troops kill suspected militant on resort island

Mountains Chocolate Hills. Bohol. The Visayas. Philippines. The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in Bohol Province, Philippines. There are at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometres (20 sq mi). They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. The Chocolate Hills are a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They are featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province.They are in the Philippine Tourism Authority's list of tourist destinations in the Philippines; they have been declared the country's third National Geological Monument and proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Chocolate Hills form a rolling terrain of haycock hills – mounds of a generally conical and almost symmetrical shape. Estimated to be from 1,268 to about 1,776 individual mounds, these cone-shaped or dome-shaped hills are actually made of grass-covered limestone. The domes vary in sizes from 30 to 50 metres (98 to 164 ft) high with the largest being 120 metres (390 ft) in height. Bohol's "main attraction", these unique mound-shaped hills are scattered by the hundreds throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan in Bohol. Photo by: Sergi Reboredo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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.

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