Saturday, December 25, 2010

Militants release abducted female trader in Basilan

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) -- Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants released their female trader captive late yesterday in the southern Philippines, military said today.
A military official said the victim, Rose Baranda, was released by the militants shortly before 8:00 p.m. near the township of Tipo-tipo in the southern island province of Basilan.
Army Colonel Nicanor Dolojan, a military ground commander, said today that Baranda was released by her abductors through Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul.
Dolojan did not say if ransom was paid for the safe release of Baranda, but the kidnappers originally demanded P3 million for her freedom.
Baranda was taken by ten gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants while on board a passenger vehicle around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the township of Lamitan, Basilan.
The Abu Sayyaf, active in southern Philippines, was founded in the 1990s and has perpetrated a number of high-profile attacks, including kidnapping, bombing and beheading. The Philippine military estimates the Abu Sayyaf, which has links with external terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, currently has about 400 members.

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