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February 25, 2018

Gunmen abduct tourists in Philippines

Newsroom24x7 Desk

PhilippinesPhilippines : Two Canadians, a Norwegian and a local woman were kidnapped from a tourist resort in the southern Philippines late evening on Monday while they were vacationing at Holiday Oceanview resort on Samal Island, near Davao City on Mindanao. The gunmen took them hostage and fled by water route as they had a standby boat waiting.

Rather than assuming this to be a random hostage pick, the military suspectd it to be a targetted kidnapping. Not being a one off, events like this have been happening over few decades. Southern Philippines has seen sporadic incidents of kidnapping by Muslim militant groups, who hold hostages for ransom.

The abductors have been identified as Canadian abductees John Ridsel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad (supposedly the manager of the resort), Filipino woman unidentified, but presumed to be the partner of one of the kidnapped Canadians.

Philippines is taking provisions such as setting up a naval blockade around the island to stop kidnappers from reaching another island in the southwest known to house militant strongholds.

Philippine authorities signed a peace agreement with the largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in 2014, but continue to battle smaller groups in the south.

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