• 2 Globe Telecom contractors seized in Southern Philippines

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: A group of gunmen seized two Filipino contractors working for Globe Telecom in the southern Philippines, police said on Wednesday.

    Police said an operation as launched to search for Nasri Abubakar, 40, and Denis Aloba, 30, who were both abducted in the village of Latih in Sulu’s Patikul town. A third contractor, Aquino Hadjula, escaped abduction and reported the incident to a marine base in the town.

    “We are still searching for the victims and we still don’t know what is the motive behind the abduction or whether the Abu Sayyaf was involved in this,” Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita, the provincial police chief, told The Manila Times.

    He said the victims—of Q-Tel Company based in Zamboanga City—were traveling on a motorcycle when gunmen stopped them. Hadjula escaped on another motorcycle while gunmen were firing on him.

    It was unknown why soldiers failed to detect the presence of gunmen in the village. There was no immediate statement from the town mayor Kabir Hayudini about the latest abduction.

    Just last month, suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen also seized a hardware store owner, Archie Hablo, in Patikul town. The 29-year old Hablo, whose family owns the Sincere Enterprises in Jolo town, was travelling on a motorcycle with his brother Miko when gunmen, who were in a jeep, blocked their path and seized the businessman.

    Hablo’s brother managed to run and escape and reported the incident to authorities.

    The Abu Sayyaf is still holding several Filipinos and foreigners kidnapped in Tawi-Tawi province and Sulu. The Abu Sayyaf rebels have been largely blamed for many ransom kidnappings in the southern region. AL JACINTO

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