Gun­men in Philip­pines seize Viet­nam sailors

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

MANILA: Gun­men ab­ducted six Viet­namese sailors and shot an­other yes­ter­day when a bulk car­rier was in­ter­cepted in Philip­pine wa­ters off a south­ern is­land strong­hold of the mil­i­tant Abu Sayyaf group, the coast­guard said. The cargo ship was bound for Davao City in an­other part of the prov­ince of Min­danao, but was in­ter­cepted when pass­ing through a strait off Basi­lan is­land by 10 armed men who came aboard and took hostages. “One of the crew was shot and was evac­u­ated to a lo­cal hos­pi­tal,” said Com­man­der Jerome Cayabyab of the coast­guard. He said the fate of the cap­tives were un­cer­tain af­ter they were trans­ferred to smaller, faster boats. It was the sec­ond kid­nap­ping in­ci­dent in the south in a week.

The Abu Sayyaf, a mil­i­tant group that swears al­le­giance to Islamic State, said on Mon­day it kid­napped a Ger­man na­tional. The mil­i­tary said a woman found dead in an aban­doned yacht off an is­land near Basi­lan was be­lieved to be his fe­male com­pan­ion. The lat­est at­tack on com­mer­cial ship­ping oc­curred just hours af­ter the lead­ers of the Philip­pines and Malaysia agreed to step up mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion in their bor­ders to stop the piracy. Abu Sayyaf rebels have since March been in­ter­cept­ing slow-mov­ing tug boats tow­ing coal barges in wa­ters near the bor­ders of Malaysia and the Philip­pines, tak­ing cap­tive more than a dozen In­done­sian and Malaysian sailors.

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