Zamboanga : Three men have been
found shot dead in the southern Philippines nine days after
they were abducted by Islamist militants demanding a ransom
payment, local authorities said on Saturday.
Soldiers tracking the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers recovered the
bodies at a remote village on Basilan island, officials said,
adding the three local men appeared to have been killed
"The bodies were discovered at around 9:45 in the morning
today and there is an ongoing operation against the
kidnappers," Basilan military commander Brigadier-General
Eugenio Clement told reporters.
He said the three were taken at gunpoint by Abu Sayyaf
gunmen on May 27.
Al-Rasheed Sakalahul, the vice governor of Basilan
province, said the gunmen had contacted one of the victims`
families and demanded one million pesos (21,600 dollars) in
"The family was not able to raise the amount the
abductors demanded," Sakalahul told reporters, adding that the
gunmen may also have felt squeezed by the military`s search.
Abu Sayyaf was set up with seed money from Al-Qaeda in
the early 1990s and is suspected by the military of tactical
ties with Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian Islamist group
blamed for several attacks in Indonesia.