Abu Sayyaf kidnaps driver in Sulu
COTABATO, Philippines - A driver for a local construction firm was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, the police said on Saturday, May 4.
The police identified the driver as Awan Usman, 30. He was driving the company's heavy equipment vehicle when he was kidnapped at around 8:30 am in the remote village of Latih, Patikul township of Sulu province.
Provincial police commander Senior Supt Antonio Freyna said Usman was captured at gunpoint by 8 members of the Abu Sayyaf.
Freyna said the perpetrators were followers of Abu Sayyaf leader Ninok Safari. He said the police has not received word from Usman's captors on whether he was still alive.
"Safari’s men have long been asking protection money but they refused to give," Freyna said.
The 380-strong Abu Sayyaf group, founded in the early 1990s by Islamic extremists, has been notorious for kidnappings, bombings and even beheadings in Mindanao in the past decade.
The group, linked to the al-Qaeda, was blacklisted by the US as a foreign terrorist organization. - Rappler.com