Security Forces Rescue Kidnapped Trader In Southern PhilippinesApril 11, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
Marines patrol the outskirts of Sulu province in southern Philippine. Security forces rescued Friday, April 11, 2008 a trader, Rosalie Lao, kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu, police chief Julasirim Kasim say. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 11, 2008) – Security forces rescued a Filipino trader kidnapped by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group after a firefight before sunrise Friday in Sulu province, south of the Philippines, police said.
Police said Abu Sayyaf militants abandoned Rosalie Lao after the gun battle near the village of Kaunayan in Patikul town. “She is safe and finally reunited with her family,” Sulu police chief, Supt. Julasirim Kasim, told the Mindanao Examiner.
There were no reports of casualties, but Kasim said the kidnappers managed to escape under cover of darkness and that security forces were pursuing the Abu Sayyaf. “The running gun battle lasted several minutes and the kidnappers abandoned Lao,” Kasim said.
He said the 45-year old Lao was first spotted in the village of Kaagi at around 4 a.m. and policemen, backed by soldiers, pursued the kidnappers until they caught up with them and a firefight ensued.
Lao was kidnapped January 28 outside her house in Jolo town and the Abu Sayyaf demanded P2 million for her freedom, but it was unknown whether her family had paid money to the gang or not.
Kasim said Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan sent doctors to examine the victim’s health condition. “Doctors examined her on orders of Gov. Sakur Tan. Lao looks okay,” he said.
On Wednesday, Abu Sayyaf militants freed six people they kidnapped in Sulu’s Maimbung town.
The six men, kidnapped on Tuesday, were freed after the victims’ families paid an unspecified amount of money to the kidnappers headed by Gafur Jumdail, police said.
The six were kidnapped after gunmen hijacked their jeep while transporting six drums of gasoline near the village of Kulasi.
Abu Sayyaf also kidnapped and freed Lullong Marrack, a school principal, last week.
Marrack’s family, police said, reportedly paid ransom for the safe release of the victim.
Last month, the Abu Sayyaf released a kidnapped Muslim teacher, Omar Taup, of Notre Dame University in Tawi-Tawi province. Taup was kidnapped January 16 after militants raided the school and killed its Catholic priest, Reynaldo Roda, after he resisted the kidnappers. (Mindanao Examiner)