A sub-leader of terror group Abu Sayyaf was killed in a fresh firefight with troops in Barangay Bacani, Clarin town, Bohol on Saturday, the military confirmed.
Military Central Command chief Lieutenant General Oscar Lactao said Joselito Melloria was killed before he reached Inabanga town, where government forces had clashed with the bandit group last week.
An M203 grenade launcher and an M16 rifle were recovered with Melloria's body.
Melloria, alias Abu Alih, was said to have guided the Abu Sayyaf in Inabanga, Bohol for a known kidnap-for-ransom plot. Abducting foreign nationals and locals have been the group's main source of funding.
In a Facebook post, the Inabanga municipality confirmed the ongoing fight.
Here is the full post, translated from Visaya:
"Sa mga oras na ito kasalukuyan ng nakikipaglaban ang ating mga operatives - AFP at PNP laban sa Abu Sayaff Group sa Sitio Lagsing, Barangay Bacani, Clarin. Sinabihan na ang mga tao na malapit sa lugar na ito na maging alerto at tumigil nalang sa kanilang mga bahay hanggang tumigil na doon sa kanila malapit ang ingkwentro (labanan). Kasi kung lumabas pa kayo baka matamaan kayo sa crossfire. Kung pwede sana mag tulungan tayo para sa safety nating lahat. Salamat."
In clashes on April 11, Abu Sayyaf leader Muamar Askali, also known as Abu Rami, was killed. The government meanwhile lost three soldiers and one policeman.
The clashes prompted several countries to issue travel warnings over Central Visayas.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW: