• Sayyaf seizes teacher in Sulu

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits abducted a public school teacher on her way to work in Patikul town, Sulu, on Tuesday.

    Reports said Edrina Manalas Bonsil, who teaches at Tuup Elementary School, was traveling on a jeep when five gunmen flagged down the vehicle along Kanague village and forcibly took her.

    No individual has claimed res­ponsibility for the abduction but police said the Abu Sayyaf Group may be behind it.

    There was no immediate statement from the Department of Education in the autonomous region but the military said operations against the terrorist group are continuing in Sulu.

    Last month, Abu Sayyaf bandits also grabbed three persons, including a pregnant woman, from a village in Patikul town.

    The victims—Shariff Julhasan Abirin, Levi Gonzales and his pregnant wife Daniela Taruc—were onboard a multi-cab when gunmen stopped the vehicle at Barangay Timpook and kidnapped them.

    The gunmen threatened to behead Gonzales, who works as a technician for a telecommunication company, if their demand for P1-million ransom is not paid by the firm.

    No immediate statement has been issued by the telecom firm.

    President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered troops last week to intensify their anti-terrorism campaign, including operations against the Abu Sayyaf, which is still holding more than a dozen mostly Asian hostages in the restive Muslim region.

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