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Abu Sayyaf kidnaps 2 Chinese traders, 2 others

By John Unson (The Philippine Star) Updated November 11, 2009 12:00 AM

COTABATO CITY , Philippines – Gunmen in camouflage uniforms snatched four people in Maluso town in Basilan yesterday.

Police said around 20 gunmen barged into the Basilan Hi-Tech Wood Craft Industry where they forcibly took Michael Tan, Oscar Lu and a worker identified as Mark Singson.

The gunmen also took with them the security guard identified as Sakilan Lumayon, whom they disarmed before entering the compound.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police spokesman Superintendent Danilo Bacas said the gunmen initially opened fire with automatic weapons, surprising Lumayon before they broke into the compound and snatched the three other victims.

“The kidnappers first fired at Lumayon before they succeeded in subduing him,” Bacas said The abduction came a day after the beheading of Gabriel Canizares, a school principal kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu three weeks ago.

The kidnapping also came while authorities are still trying to resolve the abduction of Irish priest Michael Sinnott.

Although authorities suspect the Abu Sayyaf may have carried out the kidnapping, police said they are not ruling out an inside job.

Basilan provincial police director Superintendent Abu­bakar Tulawi said they received information that one of the security guards of the shop has a son who is a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

There had been reports that some MILF rebels carried out the snatch in an attempt to take the heat off from the rescue operations for Sinnott.

Regional military spokesman Maj. David Hontiveros, however, refused to say if the MILF or the Abu Sayyaf was behind the latest snatch. With James Mananghaya, Roel Pareño, Edith Regalado, AP

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