Abu Sayyaf hijacks cargo vessel, seizes 4 crewmen

ZAMBOANGA CITY- Gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits seized four people from a cargo vessel they hijacked on Thursday off Basilan province.

Lt. Commander Alvin Dagalea, Zamboanga Coastguard Station Commander, identified two of the four victims as Aurelio Agacac and Laurencio Tiro. The identities of the other two have yet to be determined.

Dagalea said the incident took place at around 12:20 p.m. Thursday in the vicinity of Sibago Island, Mohammad Ajul, Basilan.

He said the vessel, Super Shuttle Roro 9, was transiting at 26 nautical miles (NM) east of Matangal, Basilan and 19 NM of Sibago Island when intercepted by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits aboard three speed boats.

Super Shuttle Roro 9 plies the Cebu to General Santos route and vice-versa.

The coastguard deployed a gunboat to provide assistance to the besieged cargo vessel.

The cargo boat is now idle drifting towards Sibago Island, Mohammad Ajul, Basilan.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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