Philippine gunmen strike again, architect kidnapped

11:19, October 26, 2009      

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Gunmen in the southern Philippines kidnapped a Filipino architect, the latest in the series of kidnapping cases in the troubled south, military said Sunday.

Pablo Mercado, 45, was forcibly taken by armed men late Friday in the village of Bubong, Saguiaran town in Lanao del Sur province, said regional military spokesman Maj. David Hontiveros.

Armed men flagged down Mercado's car and transferred him at gunpoint to a getaway vehicle.

The kidnapping occurred as the police and military authorities were hunting down kidnappers of an ailing 79-year-old Irish priest.

Six gunmen abducted Fr. Michael Sinnott of Columban mission on Oct. 11 from his house in the southern city of Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur.

Sinnott was the second Western missionary being kidnapped in southern Philippines in the past five years. Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi spent a month in jungle captivity before being released by Abu Sayyaf militants in 2007.

A group of gunmen in the city of Butuan are also holding five of seven government employees. They earlier freed two of their captives.

Source: Xinhua
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