Indian kidnapped in Philippines

Indian kidnapped in Philippines

Biju Kolara Veetil, 36, was visiting the family of his Filipino wife in the village of Tempok in southern Philippine province of Sulu, when the armed men barged in the house late yesterday.

"We are still awaiting reports about the Indian national and who was behind the abduction," Chief Inspector Amil Baanan, the provincial deputy police chief for operations, was quoted as saying by Mindanao Examiner, a regional newspaper.

"At least four gunmen took the Indian from the house and dragged him away," he said, adding that police teams have been sent to track down Biju.

The motive of the abduction is still unknown, but previous kidnappings had been blamed by authorities to Abu Sayyaf militants whose group is tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, the report said.

Abu Sayyaf is active in Philippines and Malaysia and has been blamed for numerous kidnappings, beheadings and bombings.

Biju is the second foreigner to be kidnapped since last month in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

"Marine elements in Sulu are conducting pursuit operation," said Army Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman, the paper reported.
A Malaysian national, Mohammad Nasaruddin Bensaidin, was earlier kidnapped by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants in the village of Kajatian in Indanan town.

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