Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sayyaf abducts school principal in Southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 19, 2009) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants seized Monday a school principal in the Muslim autonomous province of Sulu in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said about a dozen gunmen flagged down a jeep carrying teachers and forcibly took Gabriel Canizares in front of his terrified companions in the village of Tanum in Patikul town. The teachers were on their way home to the capital town of Jolo when the gunmen struck.

The 36-year old Canizares is the principal of the Kanague Elementary School in the town. “Mr Canizares was with his co-teachers in the jeep, and he was the only one abducted,” said Marine Major Ramon David Hontiveros, a regional military spokesman.

He said troops and policemen were tracking down the gunmen.

The motive of the abduction was unknown, but the Abu Sayyaf was previously linked to past kidnappings for ransom in Sulu and others parts of Mindanao.

The Abu Sayyaf is a small, but the most violent rebel group tagged by the police and military as behind the spate of attacks and terrorism in the troubled region. (Mindanao Examiner)

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