Bohol free of Abu Sayyaf terrorists – military

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Bohol's nightmare is over. 

The two remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol were killed on Monday, May 15, in a chase that followed their foiled attempt to take a resident hostage. 

"All the Abu Sayyaf Group members who landed in Bohol province aboard 3 bancas in early April 2017 were all neutralized. Bohol is now cleared of Abu Sayyaf Group elements," said Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

They were the last of the daring gang of 11 Abu Sayyaf bandits who escaped military operations in Sulu a month ago and planned to launch a Holy Week attack in Bohol, a world famous tourist destination.

Their plans were foiled by the police and the military. (READ: Bad or good intel: 5 questions on Abu Sayyaf presence in Bohol)

Earlier on Monday, the two Abu Sayyaf bandits identified as Abu Ubayda and Abu Asis were able to take a hostage. But a police report said they were forced to release the unnamed civilian when the military found their trail.

"The remaining two ASG members in Bohol were spotted at Barangay Cahayag [in] Panggangan Island, Bohol. [They] initially took hostage a resident of said barangay but later left the hostage and commandeered a motorcycle upon sensing army troops are nearing," stated the report.

The two bandits parted ways when they approached a police checkpoint, the report added. Residents who spotted the outsiders alerted the police. A chase ensued, leading to the firefight that killed Ubanda early afternoon on Monday and Asis later in the afternoon.

Among those killed in the first salvo of operations in Bohol last month was Muamar Askali, a subleader of the Abu Sayyaf Group who also served as its spokesman. He was among those killed in clashes with government forces in Bohol. (READ: ASG leader behind foreigners' kidnap killed in Bohol) – Rappler.com