Kidnappers of Swiss, Dutch elude Philippine troops

Gunmen seized Swiss and Dutch tourists on a bird-watching trip in a remote southern province.

Manila: Philippine officials say gunmen who seized Swiss and Dutch tourists on a bird-watching trip in a remote southern province could be planning to move the hostages to an island stronghold of al Qaeda-linked militants notorious for ransom kidnappings.

Governor Sadikul Sahali said on Thursday that the kidnappers took the two by boat to the opposite side of Tawi-Tawi Island from the place where they were snatched and closer to Sulu province, where al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants are active.

Sahali says the Filipino guide jumped out of the boat later Wednesday and was rescued by local fishermen.

The Abu Sayyaf have demanded money for an Australian man abducted in December as well as a Japanese and a Malaysian held on nearby islands.

Bureau Report

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