Philippines: 6 abducted from Vietnam-flagged vessel

Kidnapped in waters that have become human fishing grounds for Abu Sayyaf since it shifted priorities from mainland

Philippines: 6 abducted from Vietnam-flagged vessel

World Bulletin / News Desk

Six people are reported to have been kidnapped by a ISIL-linked group from a Vietnam-flagged boat in troubled sea-lanes off the Philippines' South.

The busy waterways between the southern Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have become human fishing grounds for the Abu Sayyaf since it shifted its priorities from abducting foreigners and businesspeople on the mainland.

Commander Jerome Cayabyab of the Zamboanga Coastguard Station told reporters Friday that at least ten gunmen had boarded the cargo vessel and seized six people, including five officers, near Sibago Island off Basilan island province early Thursday.

Cayabyab confirmed that among those abducted were the boat captain, chief mate, second and third officer, the ship's petty officer and another able-bodied seaman.

He said the incident took place around dawn, but was reported to the coastguard around 7 a.m. by the captain of a boat that provided initial assistance to those who remained aboard.

An injured electrician was shipped to a local hospital with an injury to his right arm and was immediately given medical attention.

"The gunmen shot him when he run as they were about to take him,” Cayabyab told reporters.

Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.

It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.

The Abu Sayyaf is among two militant groups in the south who have pledged allegiance to ISIL, prompting fears during the stalling of a peace process between the government and the country's one-time largest Moro rebel group that it could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.

Last Mod: 11 Kasım 2016, 11:13
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