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Abu Sayyaf crisis in Bohol ends as last 2 men killed

Bandits take Calape resident, son hostage, but government troops corner them in a mangrove area
By: - Correspondent / @leoudtohanINQ
/ 12:05 AM May 16, 2017
Policemen secure a site in the village of Kahayag in Calape, Bohol province, where one of two remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits was killed in a clash with government troops.  —LEO UDTOHAN

Policemen secure a site in the village of Kahayag in Calape, Bohol province, where one of two remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits was killed in a clash with government troops. —LEO UDTOHAN

CALAPE, Bohol—The two remaining Abu Sayyaf members hiding in the island province of Bohol were killed on Monday afternoon, after more than a month on the run following a foiled attempt to set up a local base.

Abu Ubayda and another member identified only as “Asis” were killed in a pursuit operation that started past noon and ended at 5:35 p.m.

Both died from bullet wounds in the head. Ubayda was unrecognizable after he was repeatedly shot in the face.

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Their deaths ended a crisis that started on April 10 when a group of 10 Abu Sayyaf members entered Barangay Napo in Inabanga town to set up base there and conduct terror activities on nearby islands.

Residents tipped off the police about the presence of armed men in their community. The police, in turn, relayed the information to the military.

A gun battle ensued on April 12, leaving three Abu Sayyaf members dead, including their leader, Abu Rami.

The remaining members of the group fled to nearby Clarin town and hid inside a cave in Barangay Bacani.

Discovered

But government troops discovered their hiding place on April 22 after receiving a tip from a habal-habal (passenger motorcycle) driver and three residents.

Another clash broke out, leading to the deaths of four bandits, including Joselito Melloria, a subleader of the group who guided the bandits to his hometown of Inabanga via Barangay Napo.

Another Abu Sayyaf member, Saad Kiram, went out of hiding and asked for food from residents in Tubigon town on May 4.

He was arrested and taken to a police camp in Tagbilaran City for interrogation. However, he was killed the next day after he fought it out with policemen while trying to escape.

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On May 10, the police and the military cordoned off Pangangan Island in this town after receiving reports of the presence of the two remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits.

map calapeOn Monday morning, Hilario Toloy and his 7-year-old son were gathering seashells along the mangrove forest here when the bandits appeared and pointed their guns at them.

The two asked the father and son to give them food, according to a relative of the Toloys.

Hostage

Reports said the bandits took Toloy’s son hostage to make sure that he would return with the food.

Toloy went home to Barangay Kahayag, just a few meters from the mangrove area, and brought with him rice and catfish stewed in vinegar for the bandits.

Hilario’s wife, Imelda, however, reported to the Kahayag village captain, Ian Bahandi, that her husband and son were being held hostage by the bandits.

Bahandi, in turn, reported the matter to government troops who went to the mangrove area.

As a shootout ensued, the father and son scampered for safety while the two Abu Sayyaf bandits ran to nearby Barangay Lomboy where they took a resident’s motorcycle.

They headed to Barangay Lawis only to find themselves facing a police checkpoint.

They abandoned the motorcycle and ran, returning to the mangrove area in Lawis.

Government troops pursued them and cornered them in the mangrove area, where the bandits were killed in separate areas.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, said no one among the government forces was hurt. —WITH A REPORT FROM PHILIP C. TUBEZA

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