Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are to launch a joint patrol in their waters after a recent surge of kidnappings by a radical Islamist group, according to an agreement struck on Thursday.
The decision to patrol the Sulu and Celebes seas, which together form a key waterway between the three countries, comes just over a week after the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf beheaded a Canadian captive.
Abu Sayyaf gangs have earned many millions of dollars from kidnapping foreigners and locals in the region since the early 1990s.
Ten Indonesian sailors were abducted off the southern Philippines by Abu Sayyaf in March, but returned home last week after being freed. Read More