A Chinese businesswoman and her daughter were abducted from a karaoke bar in the southern Philippines on Thursday night, allegedly by suspected members of the militant group Abu Sayyaf.
Police Chief Superintendent Albert Larubis said that the victims, 45-year-old Dina Lim Iraham and her 19-year-old daughter Yahong Lim Tan, were at a karaoke bar in Isabela City, Basilan province when they were seized at gunpoint by 10 heavily armed mean wearing camouflage around 9:35 p.m. on Thursday, according to Xinhua. Larubis said that the mother had Chinese citizenship although she’d been married to a Filipino national for 10 years.
The victims were taken to a twin-engine pump boat which took off in the direction of Malamawi Island. Government security forces have launched a pursuit operation in the vicinity.
A tourist from Shanghai along with a hotel receptionist were kidnapped on April 2 from a floating resort in Malaysia’s Sabah and are believed to be held captive in the southern Philippines as well.
Philippines officials who spoke to the Associated Press on conditions of anonymity said that the women are being held by Abu Sayyaf gunmen at a jungle in the province of Sulu, where extremists have been holding several foreign and Filipino hostages ransom.
The Abu Sayyaf has links to international militant networks are is believed to have been involved in another Sabah resort abduction from 2000.
Earlier this month, another Chinese national was kidnapped form a fish farm in Sabah by gunmen who fled towards the southern Philippines. None of the victims have yet been found.