Philippine kidnappers of Muslim trader demand ransom for captive's freedom, police

16:13, September 04, 2010      

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Gunmen in the southern Philippines holding a Muslim trader demanded 2 million pesos (44,400 U.S. dollars) of ransom in exchange for the freedom of their captive, police said Saturday.

A man who introduced himself as Commander Agila phoned the wife of Abdulkarim Magarang and relaid the demand of 2 million pesos of ransom for their captive's freedom, said chief superintendent Bienvenido Latag, regional police commander.

Latag said the group holding Magarang could be using the name of Agila to avoid being detected by police and military hunting them.

Magarang was reported to be forcibly taken by suspects at gunpoint in the southern Philippine city of Marawi on Aug. 31.

Von Al Haq, spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said they will monitor the victim and his captors in the province of Lanao.

"It could be a case of internal conflict but we will monitor their movements," Al Haq told Xinhua by phone.

Magarang was the second resident kidnapped in Marawi City this year. In June, the son of Commission on Election Commissioner Elias Yusoph, Nuraldin, was also seized by armed men.

The kidnappers demanded 5 million pesos (111,100 U.S. dollars) in ransom. He was released a month later but authorities said no money changed hands.



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