Journalists Taken Hostage by Rebels in Southern Philippines
Manila. The Philippine government confirmed Sunday that a Jordanian journalist and two Filipino cameramen were taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf rebels in the southern Philippines.
“They are now being held against their will,” Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said. “While they remain unharmed, they are being prevented from leaving.”
The journalists reportedly went missing on June 12, though it was unclear if they had been taken as hostage. The Philippine government and military officials accused Jordanian Baker Atyani of risking the lives of his local crew.
Atyani is widely known for having interviewed late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan just months before the 2001 attacks in the United States.
Sulu island province is a stronghold of the Muslim militant group known for bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.
Police said six other foreigners, including Swiss and Dutch nationals abducted in February, are reportedly still being held captive by Abu Sayyaf.