Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boy abducted in Basilan province

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 28, 2009) – Unidentified gunmen abducted a five-year old boy in Basilan province in the southern Philippines, security officials said on Tuesday.

Army First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho said the abductors seized Joven Aries dela Cruz at around 7 p.m. in front of their house in the village of Colonia in Lamitan City. “Two men on motorcycle abducted the boy in front of their house. Marines were tracking down the abductors,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest abduction, but previous kidnappings in the troubled province were largely blamed to Abu Sayyaf militants whose group has links with the Indonesian terrorist Jemaah Islamiya.

Early this month, security forces rescued two abducted fishermen after a firefight with suspected Moro rebels in Basilan, just several nautical south of Zamboanga City.

The two - Ronnie Nabi and Renante Saquien – were rescued in Akbar town after policemen, backed by soldiers stormed the village of Semut and clashed with the kidnappers.

The fishermen were abducted off Basilan in March after gunmen attacked their trawler and killed three of its crew.

In January, Abu Sayyaf gunmen also intercepted a small boat carrying state teachers off Zamboanga City and seized the trio and brought them by boat to Basilan and freed in May after private negotiators allegedly paid huge ransoms for their liberty.

More than two dozen civilians, including a Sri Lankan peace worker, were kidnapped for ransom and eventually freed in Basilan since early this year. (Mindanao Examiner)

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