Islamist Militants Attacks Two Tugboats In Southern Philippines; Seizes 4 Indonesian Crew

Islamist Militants Attacks Two Tugboats In Southern Philippines; Seizes 4 Indonesian Crew

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Once again slow moving vessels have been attacked in southern Philippines. Islamist militants seized Friday night four Indonesian crew of a tugboat.

A military spokesman said seven gunmen in a blue speed boat attacked the boats off the southernmost island of Sitangkay in Tawi-tawi.

Major Filemon Tan added, “We don’t exactly know who took them but the only lawless group operating in that area is the Abu Sayyaf.”

Earlier this month ten other Indonesians and four Malaysians were abducted too from the same region, near to the border with Malaysia’s eastern Sahah state.

A press statement meanwhile has been issued by Indonesian foreign ministry confirming four crew members of their country have been taken captive after gunmen attacked TB Henry and TB Cristy tugboats.

The statement added six other crew members were left behind and one was shot but currently he is in stable condition.

The Indonesian foreign ministry said the wounded crew was admitted to a hospital in Lahad Datu in eastern Sabah state by Malaysian water police.

The two attacked tugboats too were towed by the water police to safety.

The security in coastal towns and resorts in Sabah has been lately increased and this has barred the Islamist militants to penetrate through those. As an aftermath the group is targeting foreign crew of slow moving tugboats.

Abu Sayyaf has been linked to al Qaeda and is popularly known for kidnappings, extortion, beheadings and bombings. They have stepped up activities on remote islands.