ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines -- Bomb-making materials were seized by Philippines officials after a brief firefight Wednesday (February 8th) with rebels, allegedly tied to the Abu Sayyaf terror group, Zamboanga Task Force Commander Colonel Buenaventura Pascual said, according to MindaNews.
Police were sent to Sacol Island, east of the port city of Zamboanga, to arrest the Pingri group, an Abu Sayyaf local conduit. They use the island as a staging point for kidnapping and other crimes.
The group left behind a toolbox filled with bomb-making materials before escaping from police through a mangrove.
The Abu Sayyaf group is reportedly holding two Malaysians, one Japanese, one Indian, one Australian, and three Filipinos hostage in the Philippines, reported the Mindanao Examiner.
Two European wildlife photographers were also allegedly kidnapped last week by the group.