Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Philipines: No leads yet on targeted kidnapping of Filipina, two Canadians and one Norwegian in Davao.

The Philipines: No leads yet on kidnappers of Filipina, two Canadians and one Norwegian in Davao. (GlobalNewsInquirer).

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Tuesday they still have not identified the armed men who captured three foreigners and a Filipino woman in a luxury resort on Samal Island in Davao del Norte.

No group responsible [for the kidnapping] has been identified” Armed Forces spokespeson Col. Restituto Padilla told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday.

Based on CCTV records of the Holiday Oceanview Resort, Padilla said that 11 men with small firearms took the captives before midnight on Monday.

The foreigners were identified as John Ridsdel and Robert Hall from Canada and Kjartan Sekkingstad of Norway. The Filipino woman was not identified.

Two Japanese nationals tried to prevent the abduction of the other nationals, Padilla said.

The captives were taken away by riding a motorboat but the direction was not known.

Padilla said the abductors could speak fluent English and Filipino.

“For the moment we can assure the public that the joint forces of government led by the police along with the air assets of the air force, the naval assets, are all working hand in hand together with our land forces,” he said.

When asked whether Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group blamed behind kidnappings and series of bombings in Western Mindanao, was behind the kidnapping, Padilla said they don’t have yet enough information about the abductors.

In 2001, the Abu Sayyaf tried but failed to kidnap foreigners in a resort on Samal Island.

In Sulu, the terrorist group is currently holding nine hostages– four foreigners and five locals.

The Davao region has been relatively peaceful for more than a decade. In 2014, a peace agreement with the largest Muslim rebel group in the south ended 45 years of conflict that had killed about 120,000 people and displaced 2 million.

"Four people were taken but we do not know what group was behind the attack," Caber told reporters. He said there were about 30 foreign tourists at the resort at the time of the raid.

"It appeared the foreigners were the targets, they were not taken at random," he said..

Reports said at least 20 armed men wearing bonnets and black shirts swooped down on the resort and initially took five people. However, a Canadian named Steven and his Japanese wife, Kazuka, were able to flee from their captors.More here.

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