Gunmen abduct 2 teachers in Basilan

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MANILA, Philippines — The military says gunmen have abducted two teachers belonging to a Catholic charity group that helps poor children in a volatile province in the country’s south.

Colonel Carlito Galvez says army special forces have been deployed to locate Frederick Banot and Cherden Masong, who were abducted late Wednesday from their house in a remote town in the island province of Basilan and taken away by speedboat.

Regional army spokesman Captain Jefferson Somera said Thursday that it was not immediately clear who abducted the two men, who were sleeping when they were seized.

The al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group has been blamed for many ransom kidnappings in Basilan but other gangs have emerged in recent years. Abductions have also been staged due to clan feuds.

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