Abu Sayyaf rebels suspected in Philippines teacher kidnap

The island on which the kidnapping took place is included in the autonomous region of Bangsamoro, which was part of the peace deal signed on Thursday.

Abu Sayyaf rebels suspected in Philippines teacher kidnap

World Bulletin / News Desk

Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen kidnapped a Christian school principal on the southern Philippines' island of Basilan early Monday.

Basilan is an area included in the autonomous region "Bangsamoro" which was agreed on by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in a peace deal signed on Thursday.

A police officer said that Benita Enriquez, 60, principal of Manggal Elementary School in the township of Sumisip, was in a car on its way to Isabela City, Basilan's capital, when five gunmen wearing balaclavas stopped the vehicle and grabbed her, leaving other passengers unharmed.

The officer did not wished to be named as he was not authorized to talk to media.

Police said Enriquez's abductors are believed to be Abu Sayyaf rebels led by Juhaibel Alamsirul.

It was not known where she was taken.

The Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group is fighting for an Islamic state in Mindanao.

The same group kidnapped Baker Atyani, a Jordanian journalist in December 2013. Atyani was freed in January this year.

Abu Sayyaf also kidnapped Americans Guillermo Sobero and Martin and Gracia Burnham from the Dos Palmas resort on the island of Palawan in 2001.

They were brought to Jolo island in the deep south, another Abu Sayyaf stronghold, where Sobero was later beheaded. Martin was shot dead during a military rescue operation in 2002 while Gracia was unhurt and rescued.

Abu Sayyaf is yet to comment on the peace deal, but they are known to not be in agreement with the MILF.

MILF have a camp called Tipo-Tipo in the village next to the area where the principal was snatched.

The area has been recognized as part of the autonomous region "Bangsamoro" by government peace negotiators.

Last Mod: 31 Mart 2014, 09:13
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