A Chinese tourist from Shanghai and a hotel employee at the Singamata Reef Resort in eastern Malaysia were kidnapped by unidentified armed men on Wednesday in the latest of a series of raids on hotels in Sabah, South China Morning Post reports.
[…]The hotel manager, who asked to be identified as Vicky, said five to six armed men raided the hotel around 10.30pm on Wednesday, and left by boat within minutes.
They took Gao Huayun, a tourist from Shanghai in her twenties, and female hotel employee from the Philippines with them. Some 50 members of the police and military arrived within minutes and gathered all the remaining guests and staff in the resort’s main hall.
By Thursday morning, all 61 guests, 59 of them were Chinese, have decided to leave the resort. Ten new tourists, who arrived on Thursday, have decided to stay, she said.
Photos posted to Weibo show tourists crouching on the floor at a dining room in the resort as well as what appears to be Malaysian security presence after the raid.
A series of raids on hotels in Sabah have been attributed to insurgent groups from the Sulu archipelago in the Philippines.
Last year in November, a 58-year-old woman was abducted on Pom Pom island off Sabah’s east coast when Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen raided the resort their holiday resort, according to Asia News Net. The men, wearing ski masks, shot her husband dead before taking her to the Philippines. She was released by the abductors in December.
Staff at the Singamata resort say this is the first kidnapping that’s occurred at the hotel.
[Image: Weibo via SCMP]