World / Asia-Pacific

Navy ships in S. Philippines placed on alert over kidnapping

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-03 21:10

MANILA - The military said Thursday that it has alerted Navy ships in southern Philippines to be on guard against the kidnappers of a Chinese tourist and a Filipino resort staff who were forcibly taken in Sabah, Malaysia.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) Western Mindanao Command alerted the Navy ships after Malaysian security forces coordinated with their Filipino counterparts.

"As of now, our naval assets are on alert. We have yet to receive an official report about where the kidnappers brought their victims," said Capt. Rowena Muyuela, spokesman of the AFP Western Mindanao Command.

The kidnapping victims were identified as a 29-year-old Chinese woman, and Marcy Dayawan, 40, who is an employee of Singmata Reef Resort. The two were seized by six armed men at 10:30 pm (local time), Wednesday and were brought to a boat which was used by the suspects to escape.

In 2000, members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf raided the Sipadan diving resort in Malaysia and seized 20 tourists. The victims were then brought to Sulu province where they were held until ransom was paid for their release.

In November last year, a Taiwanese was abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf men in Semporna, Sabah and was also brought to Sulu province. She was released a month after.

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