Six Vietnamese sailors kidnapped; one killed.
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The waters off the cost of south Philippines are fraught with dangers and no amount of policing will help. It may seem far fetched to some but that is how it is. Sunday saw another kidnapping, this time off Tawi-Tawi, as reported by the army authorities.
And, as usual, the needle of suspicion has only one way to point. The abduction of Vietnamese sailors seems to be the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaf Group.
The bandits also shot dead one of the crew who tried to resist.
They kidnapped six other crew members of the Vietnamese cargo ship MV Giang Hai. The sailors who was felled down was identified as Vu Dachan.
The commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, Col. Cirilito Sobejana, explained the happenings in detail. He stated that MV Giang Hai had a complement of 17 crew members.
They were on the way to Iloilo from Sulawesi.
Around 7:30 PM on Sunday, while sailing in the waters off Baguan island, their ship was boarded by unknown assailants. The armed bandits faced some resistance from a sailor who they had to kill so that they could avoid resistance.
Vu Dachan died on the spot after which no one tried to resist.
The bandits then kidnapped the following six:
1. Buy Xuan Vien (captain);
2. Do Huu Nghia (chiefmate);
3. Nguyen Huu Trong (second engineer);
4. Nguyen Quang Huy (oiler).
5. Bui Trung Duc (third mate), and
6. Tran Viet Van (sailor).
Fishermen in the area reported the incident to the authorities. The authorities sounded a general alert immediately on receiving the information. Immediate mobilization resulted from the Filipino Coast Guard and the security forces in the area.
The spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command of the AFP, Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay gave this information to newspersons. Filipino security forces reached the ship post haste but they could not trace the getaway, Petinglay said.
Later, they towed the victim ship to the Coast Guard Sub-Station on Taganak Island.
However, the rescue parties were still scouring the area Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said.
The Commander also thanked the community of fishermen who raised the alarm by informing the authorities. They had, probably, saved the other 10 crewmen, he said.
The tally of captives in the custody of the Abu Sayyaf Group stands at 33 including the six Vietnamese sailors.
Of the 33 captives, 7 were Locals and 26 foreigners, Galvez said.
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Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Tuesday, 21 February 2017