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13 April 2024

Southern Philippine town vice mayor freed by kidnappers, flies to Manila


A southern Philippine town vice mayor who was reportedly abducted outside a shopping mall earlier this week has been released, police said Friday.

An anti-kidnapping task force informed authorities in the southern port city of Zamboanga where Arsina Nanoh was last seen Tuesday that she was freed a day later in another southern city, said local police spokesman Alex Mabalot.

Alnajil Nanoh told police that his wife called him late Tuesday saying that she was being held blindfolded in a room by unidentified men.

Nanoh, vice mayor of Hadji Muhtamad town in nearby Basilan province and a gold jewelry trader, was released in a city northeast of Zamboanga early Wednesday, Mabalot said.

Nanoh flew to Manila later that day and was reunited with her husband. He said he does not know if a ransom was paid.

It was the latest in a series of abductions in the troubled southern region where Abu Sayyaf militants are holding two European bird watchers they kidnapped two years ago.

The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for kidnappings, beheadings and bombings, is on the U.S. list of terror organizations.