Outgunned and outnumbered, three Abu Sayyaf stragglers on Saturday evening were killed by converging military forces who surrounded the bandits at a hillâ€™s summit in Barangay Caboy, Clarin where they madeÂ their last stand.
The militants had earlier lost their guide, Bohol native and Abu Sayyaf comrade Joselito Melloria who was gunned down by government troops in a nearby village.
Prior to the gun battle in Barangay Caboy, however, residents in the village feared of being abducted by the bandits.
Witnesses in the area narrated to authorities that Melloria and the three other armed men came from a nearby cave in Sitio Lacsing, Barangay Bacani, Clarin near the Inabanga-Clarin boundary.
According to villager Mila Roble, 59, the Abu Sayyaf men appeared to have attempted to take other residents as hostage but were thwarted by security forces which launched an assault against the stragglers.
The bandits were scattered during the assault as Melloria was killed in the adjacent village of Bacani while the three others were gunned down atop the hill in Barangay Caboy.
According to military sources, three more bandits remain in hiding while government pursuit operations are ongoing.
The remaining bandits have diminished resources and firepower as they are likely to be in possession of only one firearm based on intelligence reports, said Gov. Edgar Chatto. (A. Doydora)