Philippine Armed Forces Downplay Possible Abu Sayyaf Involvement in Indonesian Kidnapping

Manila, 07 Syawal 1437/12 July 2016 (MINA) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday sought to downplay the possible involvement of the Abu Sayyaf group in the kidnapping of three Indonesian tugboat crew members in Malaysian waters last Saturday.

The three Indonesians were abducted off the east coast of Sabah on Borneo island, while five others were spared and reported the incident to authorities, Xinhua reported.

Maj. Filemon Tan, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, said the authorities continue to validate the veracity of the reports linking the Abu Sayyaf to the abduction.

“We are not, however, discounting the fact that the said abduction may have been perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf group, but the probability is low based on proximity and the intelligence reports gathered by troops,” said Tan.

“The military continues to intensify intelligence monitoring in collaboration with the police to confirm the aforesaid report,”Tan said without elaborating. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)