ZAMBOANGA CITY – Unidentified gunmen seized a Muslim teacher in the southern Philippine province of Sulu where security forces are battling Abu Sayyaf rebels whose group is tied to the Islamic State.
Ibrahim Potong was driving his motorcycle when gunmen intercepted and abducted him near Patikul town. Potong was heading home from the town of Maimbung when seized by armed men.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the abduction. And it was not immediately known whether the Abu Sayyaf or government soldiers or policemen were involved in his disappearance. Potong's family did not give any statement to the press.
The military’s Western Mindanao Command also did not release a statement about the abduction. Security forces are battling the Abu Sayyaf group tagged by the authorities as behind the spate of ransom kidnappings and terrorism in the restive region.
President Duterte has ordered an all-out war against the Abu Sayyaf and the military deployed thousands of soldiers in Sulu and Basilan, both under the Muslim autonomous region, to crush the rebel group which is still holding over 2 dozen mostly Asian sailors kidnapped off Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and in Sabah near the Philippine border with Malaysia. (Mindanao Examiner)