Suspected Abu Sayyaf kidnap four workers in Sulu

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 16) —  Suspected Abu Sayyaf group members kidnapped four workers in Patikul, Sulu Saturday morning, after barging into the workers' campsite, the military said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command said ten fully armed men believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf's Ajang-Ajang group entered the workers' campsite at the Sulu Sports Complex Grandstand in Brgy. Bangkal, Patikul Sulu at 1:00 a.m. and and initially took six workers, two of whom were later rescued by the military.

The victims were all from Barangay Tumaga in Zamboanga city about 145 km from Patikul and had been hired to work as painters of the Provincial Capitol building.

Those kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf were identified as Jun Guerrero, 40; Momoy Ramos, 35; Jason Baylosis, 27; and, Joel Adanza, 40.

One of the six workers, alleged kidnap victim Larry Velasquez, was able to escape after he reportedly jumped from the building and ran towards the municipal hall, where he reported the incident to authorities. Troops also rescued another worker, Jenly Miranda, at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday at the area of the incident.

According to initial investigations, the armed men were wearing military camouflage uniforms with face masks using bonnets and scarves.

They left the compound with their victims after the incident using a trail at the back of the same compound.

The military is pursuing the kidnappers, and are patrolling the vicinity of Brgy Sandah to rescue the four victims. The two rescued victims, meanwhile, were brought to the 45th Infantry Battalion headquarters for debriefing

Zamboanga City-based journalist Liza Jocson contributed to this story.