Acducted ICRC workers say gunmen want Phillippine to stop pursuit

"They called up this morning to inform their office that they are okay," head of the Philippine National Red Cross said.

Acducted ICRC workers say gunmen want Phillippine to stop pursuit

Three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross held captive in the Philippines called their office on Monday, saying their abductors want the military to suspend rescue operations, a local Red Cross official said.

Philippine security forces have been scouring for four days the interior of the southern island of Jolo.

"They called up this morning to inform their office that they are okay," Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine National Red Cross, told Reuters. "They said their abductors want the military to call off operations."

"They made short calls to inform the ICRC about their conditions," he added.

Gordon said the gunmen made no further demands, adding there was no word on any ransom or political demands.

The Red Cross team has made five brief calls to their office since their abduction on Thursday a few hundred yards (metres) from a prison where they inspected a water and sanitation project.

Jean-Daniel Tauxe, head of the ICRC delegation in Manila, said in a statement the agency has had no direct contact with the abductors so far.

He also said the Red Cross workers were being held together, based on the information they had received.

The ICRC has identified the three kidnap victims as Andreas Notter, a 38-year-old Swiss national; Eugenio Vagni, a 62-year-old Italian and Mary Jean Lacaba, a 37-year-old from the Philippines.

Reuters
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2009, 12:53
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