Suspected Abu Sayyaf extremists abduct couple

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

MANILA -- Philippine military officials said suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits have kidnapped a couple in Sulu, the latest addition to their hostages, who include two European tourists.

Marine Captain Ryan Lacuesta said Bonifacio Salinas and his wife were returning to their home in Jolo town early Sunday when six gunmen dragged them into a van.

He said the bandits fled with their captives toward Patikul town, where the Abu Sayyaf has mountain encampments.

Troops are trying to track down the militants and the couple, who are employees of Jolo's water agency.

In January, criminal charges were filed against Abu Sayyaf leader Nurhassan Jamiri and several others tagged as responsible in the kidnapping of Cynthia Caboberte, a fish trader from Dipolog City. [Read the related story.]

The Abu Sayyaf, which is on a US list of terrorist groups, is one of at least three armed Islamic groups outside of a looming government peace deal with the main insurgent group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (AP/Sunnex)

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