Abu Sayyaf strikes anew, takes 13 Indon sailors off Tawi-tawi

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page -

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants have seized 13 Indonesian tugboat crew members off the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi, reports said.

Indonesian media also reported that the boat captain phoned his wife and told her that they were intercepted June 22 at sea by gunmen, who introduced themselves as Abu Sayyaf and were demanding 20 million ringgits for their safe release.

The militants and their hostages – of tugboat Charles OO - were last reported heading to Tawi-Tawi, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. There was no immediate statement from the boat owner PT Rusianto Brothers.

The tugboat was heading to Samarinda in East Kalimantan following a trip from the Philippines when gunmen intercepted it. The Abu Sayyaf reported split the hostages into two groups.

The Abu Sayyaf previously kidnapped 14 Indonesian tugboat crewmembers in separate attacks at sea and brought them to Sulu province and eventually released through the intercession of the Moro National Liberation Front.

Philippines military and police authorities were not immediately available to confirm the reports. President Aquino has ordered a military campaign against the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines following the beheading of a Malaysian and two Canadian hostages.

When pedestrian lane becomes a parking area for traffic laws enforcers and motorists. This was taken outside the Land Transportation Office in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

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