Philippine 9-year-old kidnapped by armed men in south
A nine-year-old was abducted by unidentified armed men in south Philippines late Saturday night, local police reported Sunday.
The latest kidnapping case, following the abduction of three Red Cross officers, three teachers, a mid-wife and several businessmen in less then a month, highlighted the worrisome security in the insurgency-infested Mindanao region, Xinhua reported.
The boy, Chester Gruta, was walking home from a store in Lamitan City in Basilan Island when unknown men on a motorcycle forcibly took him away, regional police spokesperson Superintendent Danilo Bacas said.
"We are investigating the motive behind the abduction. There's also an ongoing operation to find the victim," Bacas said.
This developed as security forces are hunting down Abu Sayyaf militants who are allegedly holding three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross since they were snatched in a town in Jolo island, Sulu province on Jan. 15.
The 340-member Abu Sayyaf was linked to a series of high- profile kidnappings and terror attacks in this Southeast Asian country, including the bombing of a ferry near Manila Bay in 2004 that killed more than 100 people.