Around 1,000 residents have been evacuated inÂ the town of Clarin after another encounter between government troops and Abu Sayyaf bandits broke out Saturday.
Authorities said villagers in Barangays Nahawan and Bacani were evacuated and directed to take shelter at a gymnasium in the central area of Clarin due to the clash which, according to Gov. Edgar Chatto,Â erupted at 12:45 p.m.
The government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development extended aid to residents by distributing relief packs and other basic necessities.
Meanwhile, Provincial Administrator Ae Damalerio has confirmed the death of Joselito Melloria, the suspected leader of the remaining band of Abu Sayyaf men.
Based on previously released military intelligence reports, eight bandits including Melloria survived the firefight in Inabanga last week. (Allen Doydora)