Philippines says Jordanian journalist held captive in south



Published — Sunday 24 June 2012

Last update 25 June 2012 5:24 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MANILA: A Jordanian journalist and two Filipinos hired to help him with reporting are being held captive on an island in the southern Philippines by a one-armed leader of the Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf, the interior secretary said on Sunday.
Jesse Robredo said that Baker Atyani, an Islamabad-based journalist for Middle East broadcast network Al-Arabiya, and two colleagues, are being held by militant Radullan Saheron on Jolo island.
“They are now being held against their will,” Robredo told reporters in a text message. “There was no mention of ransom, but one of the Filipino captives called his wife and asked the latter to contact his company.”
The two Filipinos, Rolando Letrero and Ramelito Vela, work for a Manila-based media production house and were hired by Atyani. Al-Arabiya said it has lost contact with Atyani.
Robredo said they presumed that the captive crew was asking something from his employers, “but, we cannot say outrightly if its ransom. We are keeping our lines open for communication.”
Saheron is one of two remaining Philippines Islamist militant leaders on the US State Department’s terrorist watch list. The other is Isnilon Hapilon. Washington has put up to $5 million bounty on their capture dead or alive.
The Philippines initially denied Atyani was a hostage, even though the Jordanian foreign ministry issued a statement last week saying he was a captive in the southern Philippines.
Atyani arrived on June 11 at the island stronghold of Abu Sayyaf, notorious for kidnap-for-ransom and for beheading captives. The militants are now holding two Chinese, an Australian, two Europeans and a Japanese as captives on Jolo and nearby Basilan islands.
The next day, Atyani and his crew were seen boarding a mini-bus to the island’s interior, seeking an interview with Yasser Igasan, an Islamist militant leader with connections to Al-Qaeda and Southeast Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiya.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: An African expat woman is being investigated for torturing her baby to death by pouring boiling water on her. The motive behind the vicious attack is unknown.The Board of Investigation and Prosecution in Jeddah has charged the woman with semi...
RIYADH: Over five million Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs), including more than one million in Saudi Arabia, observed “zero remittance day” on Friday, in protest against the random checking of boxes sent by them to their families back home by the Cu...
JEDDAH: Security authorities have arrested 45 people from different parts of the Kingdom for Daesh links in the past 10 days. Forty of the suspects, accused of terrorism, are Saudis. Others are 2 Yemenis, an Egyptian, a Palestinian, and a national of...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health announced on Friday that two more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. While no deaths were announced, the virus has already killed 26 people in just two weeks, from Aug. 16...
RIYADH: The government and courts have issued 35,010 penalties against citizens and expatriates for violating the country’s residency laws including fines and jail terms.Citizens and expatriates across the Kingdom were penalized for transporting, har...
JEDDAH: As international schools in the city gear up for the new academic session, some parents have requested that schools improve the quality of their classes in Islamic studies. Although the Ministry of Education has decreed that all international...

Stay Connected

Facebook