2 Malaysia kidnap victims now in Philippine jungle | Global News

2 Malaysia kidnap victims now in Philippine jungle

/ 06:01 PM April 25, 2014

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Muslim militants have brought a Chinese tourist and a Filipino hotel receptionist to their jungle stronghold in the southern Philippines after kidnapping the women from a dive resort in eastern Malaysia early this month, security officials said Friday.

The Philippine officials said that based on numerous intelligence reports and accounts from villagers, the women were now being held by Abu Sayyaf gunmen in the predominantly Muslim province of Sulu, where the extremists have been holding several foreign and Filipino hostages for ransom.


The three officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters about the abductions.

Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped the 28-year-old Shanghai woman and 40-year-old Filipino from the Singamata Reef Resort in the Malaysian state of Sabah on April 2, then took them by motor boat to the southern Philippines. Sabah, which has many tourist resorts, is just a short boat ride from the Philippines, where many militants and kidnap gangs operate.


Philippine military officials initially reported that the kidnappers and their captives may have been taken to Simunul Island in the southernmost province of Tawi Tawi. But a search in the remote region yielded nothing.

Marine spokesman Capt. Ryan Lacuesta said a new search was underway by government forces in Sulu, about 950 kilometers (590 miles) south of Manila, but refused to divulge other details.

Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamid said two weeks ago that the kidnappers were demanding a ransom of 500 million pesos ($11.3 million) for the release of a Chinese tourist. No ransom was asked for the Filipino woman, he said.

Malaysian police have been coordinating with their Philippine counterparts to deal with the kidnapping, the latest the Abu Sayyaf has staged in Malaysia. In 2000, Abu Sayyaf gunmen snatched 21 European tourists and Malaysian and Filipino workers from Malaysia’s Sipadan diving resort. The hostages were transported to Sulu, where they were released in exchange for huge ransom.

In November, Abu Sayyaf militants killed a Taiwanese tourist and kidnapped his wife from another Sabah resort. The woman was free a month later in Sulu.

The Abu Sayyaf had links to international militant networks, including al-Qaida, but a U.S.-backed Philippine military crackdown has weakened it considerably in recent years. The group, which is on the U.S. list of terror groups, has about 300 fighters and is now much more focused on ransom kidnappings than global jihad.



Abu Sayyaf-linked kidnappers trying to slip into Jolo island

Abu Sayyaf men abduct 2 in Malaysia–officials

Subscribe to our global nation newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, Hostage, Sabah, Simunul Island, Singamata Reef Resort
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our global news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.