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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cops search for kidnapped Australian in Sulu

Australian captive Warren Rodwell
Zamboanga, Philippines - Authorities in southern Philippines are verifying information that an Australian kidnapped in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on December last year has been transferred to Sulu.

Police Chief Superintendent Bievenido Latag, police regional director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said the information states that Warren Rodwell was allegedly brought to Talipao, Sulu on January 7 this year.

Latag said Rodwell was reportedly accompanied by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to Sumisip, Basilan-based commander Radzmir Alih.

"Dinala siya sa Patikul sa grupo ni Radulan Sahiron [He was brought to Patikul, to the group of Radulan Sahiron]," he said.

Latag said that the 3 recent explosions in the bridges in Patikul and Panamao are diversionary tactics to send the military troops away from Talipao, in preparation for Rodwell's arrival in the province.

Latag said the ASG in Basilan probably felt the military pressure and sought a safer place to hide the Australian captive.

"Bugbog sarado na ang Basilan, masyado na maraming militar doon kaysa sa Sulu dahil sa Al-Barka incident [Basilan is already overwhelmed, there's too many military there than there is in Sulu because of the Al-Barka incident]," Latag said.

Latag, however, clarified that they are still trying to validate this information.

Meanwhile, the Western Mindanao Command said this was the original plan of the ASG, but the plan to transfer Rodwell to Sulu did not materialize.

In a text message sent to ABS CBN News, the military said Sahiron refused to take custody of the captive since the group recently lost their lair in Sinumaan Complex in Patikul town.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed that Sahiron's group is currently scattered and on the run after the marines occupied their former stronghold.

Latag added the Federal Police of the Australian government is continuously giving support through information in the effort to recover Rodwell at the soonest possible time.

Source ABS CBN News


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