Monday, March 21, 2011
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 21, 2011) – Pirates abducted three fishermen off Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao after they refused to pay extortion money, police said Monday.
Police said the pirates seized the fishermen near the island of Panglima Tahil and that security forces have been deployed to locate the victims. “The armed men were collecting money from the fishermen and seized them when they refused to pay up,” said Chief Inspector Amil Baanan, operations chief of the police force in nearby province of Sulu.
He said the incident occurred on Saturday and that police were trying to identify those behind the abduction or whether the gang has links with Abu Sayyaf rebels blamed for the string of attacks and kidnappings in the southern Philippines.
“We still don’t know, but initial reports said the attackers were small time pirates or extortionists who are victimizing hapless fishermen,” Baanan said.
The Sulu Archipelago is a chain of islands between Zamboanga City and Sabah in the southwestern part of the country. (Mindanao Examiner)