MANILA, Philippines?The Armed Forces of the Philippines has said that Abu Sayyaf extremists are again behind the latest abduction at a plywood firm in Maluso, Basilan.
Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner, AFP spokesperson, said intelligence reports from police and military units in the island province indicated that the 30 armed men who seized the victims were Abu Sayyaf members.
Local authorities differ on the number of kidnap victims, based on information received by the Inquirer Mindanao Bureau. Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, Western Mindanao Naval Forces commander, identified four captives as Jerry Tan; Michael Tan, 27; Oscar Tan Lu, 51; and Mark Singson. Basilan Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul said three were kidnapped -- Michael Tan, Oscar Lu and Mark Singson.
Authorities said the victims were taken by men in military uniform from the factory of High-tech Woodcraft Corp. in the village of Townsite.
?The AFP is now conducting pursuit operations to pressure those holding the victims,? Brawner told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.