Monday, November 15, 2010

Gunmen seize 2 teachers in Basilan province

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 15, 2010) – Suspected Moro rebels stormed a government school on Monday and abducted two teachers in the restive province of Basilan in the southern Philippines, police and military said.

It said security forces were pursuing the gunmen who are holding Celia Sosas and Merlyn Yacapin in the town of Lamitan. The gunmen seized the two at around 11 a.m., but officials would not say the motive of the abduction.

Other reports said Yacapin was later abandoned by the gunmen on a remote village in the town’s outskirts, but the gang held on to Sosas who is the head of the Baas Elementary School.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the latest abduction.

Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels headed by Nur Hassan Jamiri are also holding trader Rosa Baranda who was kidnapped November 2 near Ungkaya Pukan town in Basilan. The rebels are demanding three million pesos ransom in exchange for Baranda’s safe release.

The group was also tied to terrorism in the southern Philippines and is on the top list of the country’s law enforcement agencies. Kidnappings and terrorism are not uncommon in Basilan where dozens of soldiers had been killed in attacks the past years. (Mindanao Examiner)

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