Gunmen release 2 of 7 kidnapped people in S Philippines

17:11, September 24, 2010      

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Two of the seven victims kidnapped on Thursday in Southern Philippines have been released unharmed, officials said on Friday.

"They were already released. We are working out others will also release soon," Chief Superintendent Bienvenido Latag, regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, told reporters Friday afternoon.

The victims came from Davao city and were heading to Marawi when they were taken by 15 armed men led by Commanders Basit and Joel Kasanguan late Thursday afternoon.

Philippine security forces have launched a pursuit operation against suspects.

The motive behind the kidnapping remains unknown but the official said it could be retaliation to an earlier abduction of a certain Aris Lidasan of Lumba Bayabao town in Lanao Sur on September 13.

Clan war or rido is common among warring clans in Southern Philippines. Sometimes, the hostilities could last for decades until a peace pact is reached usually through mediation by religious leaders and the payment of blood money.

Among major causes rido include land disputes, particularly those caused by disputed government surveys or ancestral land claims; political rivalries, mostly election-related; crime- related, including murder and proliferation of illegal drugs, competition over resources and businesses.

Source: Xinhua


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