ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – Members of the Islamic extremist group Abu Sayyaf kidnapped a pair of sisters in the southern Philippines on Saturday (June 23rd) while the women worked on a movie about the area's struggling residents, AFP reported.
Officials say Abu Sayyaf members often target locals and foreigners in the south for ransom money. The women were working on a film about Muslim coffee growers on Jolo Island.
"There were armed men who flagged their vehicle down and abducted them and took them to their hideout," said Jolo Marine commander Colonel Jose Cenabre.
"They went there thinking they were safe. They are from the area. Why are they kidnapping their Muslim sisters?" said Ledrolen Manriquez, chief of the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network, to which the women belong.