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MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – Philippine authorities are conducting extensive search and naval blockade to locate and rescue the two victims who were abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group from a resort in Sabah, Malaysia earlier this week, a senior government official said today.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, citing a report from the Philippine military, said that “best efforts” continue for the search and rescue of the 29-year-old Chinese and 40-year-old Filipina, who were kidnapped by seven fully armed men from the Singamata Reef Resort near Semporna, Sabah late Wednesday night.
She said the operations were focused in areas in island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao.
“So the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is conducting extensive search and naval blockade to locate suspected seacrafts, ” Valte said.
She said that other military units in Western Mindanao Command and local police in the areas have been alerted as well.
The Philippine military earlier identified the abductors belonging to an Abu Sayyaf Group unit in Tawi-Tawi led by a certain Murphy Ambang Ladia.
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It is reported that the suspects raided the resort and allegedly fled towards the Philippine with their victims using a white speedboat. In the past, bandits kidnapped tourists and fishermen in the area and reportedly brought them to nearby Philippines.
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