Suspected Islamic militants abduct man in Philippines: govt | world | Hindustan Times
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Suspected Islamic militants abduct man in Philippines: govt

world Updated: Dec 11, 2009 07:22 IST
Suspected Islamic militants

Suspected Islamic militants abducted a college professor on a southern Philippine island where another hostage was beheaded this week, officials said Friday.

Gunmen believed to be from the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group barged into the home of Orlando Fajardo in Basilan island's capital of Isabela late Thursday and kidnapped him, deputy governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul said.

"This is really bad. Four gunmen took Fajardo from his home. We have alerted security forces about this latest
kidnapping," Sakalahul told reporters.

Fajardo, a licensed engineer, is also the vice president of the Basilan State College, Sakalahul said.

The Abu Sayyaf are a small group of militants on the US government's list of wanted terrorists who have been blamed for a string of abductions in the southern Philippines, as well as the country's worst terrorist attacks.

Fajardo's kidnapping came a day after Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded a Filipino they seized with two others from a plywood factory last month.

Mark Singson's severed head was found stuffed inside a plastic bag at a park on Wednesday, after the owner of the Hitech Wood Craft Company where they worked failed to pay a ransom.

The other victims -- Michael Tan, 27 and Oscar Lu, 51 -- were allowed to call their employer Wednesday, but there has been no word about their fate since.

The militants had demanded 1.5 million pesos (32,500 dollars) for the release of all three.

Police said they believe Tan and Lu may also be illegal Chinese migrants employed by the wood factory.

The Abu Sayyaf was also blamed for the beheading of a school principal on Jolo last month, just days before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Manila to affirm security ties.

In September, two US soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb on Jolo in the deadliest attack on American forces so far by the militant group.

Abu Sayyaf attacks have left at least 48 Filipino soldiers and 70 insurgents dead since January, according to an AFP tally based on military reports.

It is also blamed for the bombing of a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 that left more than 100 people dead, the nation's worst terrorist attack in recent times.