Thursday, July 14, 2011

Philippines: No word from 2 Americans' abductors

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials said Wednesday they have received no word from the abductors of a naturalized American woman, her teenage son and Filipino nephew a day after they were seized by suspected Muslim militants.

More than a dozen gunmen seized Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, her 14-year-old son and 19-year-old nephew from the relatives' house they were visiting on an island village near southern Zamboanga city.

The head of a government crisis committee, Zamboanga Mayor Celso Lobregat, said authorities were verifying reports that the hostages were taken aboard two boats to nearby Basilan Island.

The area is a stronghold of al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf extremists who have been blamed for ransom kidnappings and deadly bombings over the past two decades. Philippine military officials said they are also looking at a possible involvement of a commander of the largest Muslim separatist group which has a formal cease-fire with the government. Read More..

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