Two US citizens, Filipino relative abducted in southern Philippines
Suspected Muslim militants abducted two US citizens and a Filipino relative in the southern Philippines Tuesday, police and military said, DPA reported.
The victims were identified as 50-year-old Gerfayeaths Lunsmann, a Filipino-American married to a German national, her 14-year-old son Kevin and their Filipino relative Romnick Jackaria, 19.
Director Felicisimo Khu, a regional police commander, said the hostages were taken from their guesthouse in the village of Tictabon on Sacol Island near Zamboanga City, 875 kilometres south of Manila.
Khu said more than a dozen suspected members of the notorious Abu Sayyaf group used two boats to take the hostages from Sacol to nearby Basilan province, a militant stronghold.
Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman, said the Lunsmanns arrived in Tictabon on vacation 13 days ago from the US state of Virginia.
Cabangbang said Jackaria arrived on the island on Monday from Basilan.
"Latest intelligence information states that the victims were brought to Sengad village in Tuburan town in Basilan under Abu Sayyaf commander Abu Pula," he said.
The al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines as well as kidnapping foreigners.