ZAMBOANGA CITY: Malaysian authorities said two Indonesian fishing boat skippers have been abducted in separate attacks in Sabah near the Philippine border of Tawi-Tawi.
The two men were seized by armed men on Saturday and their abduction were immediately reported to the Eastern Sabah Security Command.
Efforts to find and rescue the skippers failed, however.
The official Bernama news agency also reported that the gunmen were believed to be based in Tawi-Tawi, one of five provinces under the troubled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in southern Philippines.
The news agency said the gunmen spared other fishermen and only targeted the skippers.
It was not immediately known whether the abductions were carried out by the Abu Sayyaf Group but the terrorist rebel band tied to the Islamic State is still holding about a dozen Malaysian and Indonesian sailors kidnapped this year off Sabah and are being held also in southern Philippines.
There was no immediate statement from the Philippine military or the provincial police in Tawi-Tawi about Saturday’s abductions.