(From AFP)

Gunmen have abducted four Indonesian sailors and shot and wounded one crew member on the high seas off the east coast of Malaysia’s Sabah state, waters where Abu Sayyaf militants are known to operate, a senior police official said Saturday.

A crew member, who escaped the pirates, being treated at Tawau hospital. The other crew members are helping police in investigations
An Indonesian crew member shot at by kidnappers being treated at Tawau hospital. Five other seamen who escaped the kidnappers are helping the police in investigations

If the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf is confirmed to be behind the kidnapping off Borneo, it would be their third such hostage-taking in as many weeks and comes amid a surge in such attacks.

“The incident happened late Friday in international waters. Four Indonesian seamen were abducted by the kidnappers. One man was shot and is being treated at a hospital,” Sabah police chief Abdul Rashid Harun said.

The tugboat carrying coal was sailing from Cebu in the Philippines back to Tarakan in Indonesian Borneo when the kidnappings occurred. Six other seamen, including the wounded man, managed to escape.

In a bid to curb kidnappings, Malaysia has imposed a temporary ban on the trade route between Sabah and the southern Philippines. Read More

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