Philippine terror group abducts three Malaysian fishermen

Abu Sayyaf now holds at least 20 foreign and Filipino hostages

September 12, 2016
Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen abducted three Malaysian fishermen off the coast of Semporna in Malaysia on Sept. 10.

The Abu Sayyaf militant group, which claims allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, has been blamed for a series of kidnappings of Malaysian and Indonesian fishermen in the past months.

At least 20 foreign and Filipino hostages remain in the hands of the terrorist group in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.

Philippine military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said they are still verifying the report about the latest abduction.

Last month, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia agreed to "encourage the operationalization" of a standard operating procedure for the three countries' maritime patrol.

Military leaders of the three countries aired concern over incidents of armed robbery and kidnapping at sea in the maritime areas of common concern.

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