• Team out to rescue abducted trader

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Security forces have launched an operation to rescue a gas station owner who was abducted in Lanao del Norte province on Monday.

    Authorities said businesswoman Clarita Belisario, 59, was snatched by armed men while traveling in Linamon town on board several vehicles.

    It was unclear if the cars were stolen and used to commit the crime, they added.

    Belisario’s family owns a gas station in the town but authorities said no individual or group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

    The woman’s family did not say whether ransom was demanded by her abductors.

    The police and military were searching for the victim in Lanao del Norte and nearby Lanao del Sur province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

    Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and criminal groups are actively operating in Lanao del Norte and neighboring provinces where ransom kidnappings are common.

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