Tourists taken hostage in the Philippines

Tourists taken hostage in the Philippines
A Norwegian, two Canadian tourists and a Filipino woman have been abducted in the Philippines, the army in the country informs.

An unidentified group of armed men abducted the four from a popular resort south of the country, the news agency Reuters reports.

Police Chief Samuel Gadingan, on the island of Mindanao, says to NRK that they were abducted from a yacht club where Norwegian worked as a manager.

- It was a large group of heavily armed hostage takers who had a clear goal, says a local police chief to NRK.

He do not believe the Norwegian was the target of the abduction, but that he became involved because he came out of a boat when he heard noise nearby.

The Norwegian embassy confirms that there has been an attack.

- We are now trying to get establish whether there are Norwegians involved and whether one or more Norwegians have been abducted, says ambassador Erik Førner.

Military sources said the gunmen spoke English and the Filipino language Tagalog.

The Yacht Club had two armed guards who did not dare to resist, according to Police Chief Samuel Gadingan.

Two Japanese tourists tried to intervene, but in vain.

Philippine forces have put boats and planes into the hunt for the captives.

Both the police and military are surprised by the attack, which is a reminder of the unstable security situation in the region, despite the peace initiatives by Islamist rebels lately.

The Davao region has been relatively peaceful for a while. A peace agreement with the largest Islamist rebel group last year, ended a 45 year long conflict that has killed 12,000 people and displaced two million.

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