ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Navy said Thursday that it has deployed its watercraft in the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi to search for a female Chinese tourist and a Filipino resort staff who were kidnapped in Sabah, Malaysia.
Capt. Ma. Rowena Muyuela, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Mindanao Command, said the naval search was launched after they were alerted by their Malaysian counterpart about the abduction of a 29-year-old female tourist from Shanghai, China, and a Filipino 40-year-old resort worker.
The two were forcibly taken from Singahmata Reef Resort off Semporna by armed men at around 10:30 p.m., Wednesday. The kidnappers and the victims escaped on board a motorized pumpboat and was monitored heading towards the Philippine border in Tawi- Tawi area.
Muyuela, however, said that there has been no reported sighting of the kidnappers and the victims in the area.
No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping incident but the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf is said to be behind the kidnapping operation in the area.
The Philippine military noted that the latest kidnapping incident was similar to what happened on Nov. 15 last year when Taiwanese businessman Li Min Shu, 58 was killed in Pom Pom Island Resort in Semporna while his wife Chang An Wei, 57, was taken by gunmen.
Chang, who is believed to have been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, was rescued by Philippine Marines in a village of Patikul town, Sulu Province 36 days later.
Sabah kidnap could be deliberate act to sour Sino-Malaysia ties: Malaysian PM
KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The Semporna resort kidnap in Sabah State could be a deliberate act to sour Sino-Malaysian ties, local press The Star quoted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as saying on Thursday.
The PM made that statement after a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in Perth, Australia. Full story