Al Qaeda group kidnaps Philippine health worker

March 20, 2012
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ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – Islamists with alleged links to the Al-Qaeda-aligned Abu Sayyaf group seized a health worker in the southern Philippines, officials said Tuesday (March 20th).

Gunmen led by Abu Sayyaf member Ninok Sappari, wanted for several other kidnappings, abducted a village midwife from a van carrying health workers on the island of Jolo on Monday, regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said.

The motive is not yet known, although the group is known to abduct people for ransom.

Abu Sayyaf, founded with seed money from Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, is one of several armed groups that have resorted to kidnapping for ransom to raise funds.

Seven foreigners are believed to still be held by Abu Sayyaf and other outlaw groups.

In an unrelated incident Monday, police confirmed two male school teachers were also kidnapped by unidentified armed men on Mindanao Island.

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A woman reacts outside Jakarta's Ritz-Carlton hotel on July 17th, 2009 after bomb blasts tore through it and the nearby JW Marriott. Two suspected Jemaah Islamiyah suicide bombers killed at least six people and injured more than 40 others. [Arif Ariadi/AFP]

The Global Terror Threat: Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has been both a source and a target of global terrorism. Al-Qaeda affiliates Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia and Malaysia and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines are among regional groups that terrorise their home countries with bombings, ambushes,