Monday, February 4, 2013

5 more foreigners being held hostage by Abu Sayyaf, police say

From InterAksyon (Feb 4): 5 more foreigners being held hostage by Abu Sayyaf, police say

The Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group Abu Sayyaf is holding at least five more foreigners hostage in the island-province of Sulu, police said.

Senior Superintendent Renato Gumban, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group, said that aside from Jordanian journalist Baker Abdulla Atyani, also being held hostage are Australian Warren Rodwell, European birdwatchers Ewold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, two Malaysians and a Japanese.

The Japanese kidnap victim, however, reportedly refused to leave the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)'s stronghold as he was facing numerous charges both here and in Japan, Gumban said.

Authorities are still working for the rescue of the victims.

The ASG is reportedly demanding $3 million for Atyani while undisclosed amount of ransom was also being demanded from the other victims.

Meanwhile, the Abu Sayyaf reportedly posted a photo of Australian kidnap victim Rodwell on the internet and warned the Australian government that the victim would suffer an "unusual way of death" if the ransom would not be paid immediately.

In an article posted on British news website Daily Mail on January 31, the kidnappers warned that without a ransom, Rodwell would be executed.

Accompanying the threat was a photo of an emaciated Rodwell, seated, holding a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and surrounded by three armed men whose faces were covered by balaclavas.

Rodwell, a former member of the Australian Army, was taken by the ASG in December 2011 in Zamboanga.

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