Three foreigners, local woman kidnapped at Philippines resort

By Andrew V. Pestano

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A group of 11 men posing as tourists, some armed with pistols, kidnapped two Canadians, a Norwegian and a local woman late Monday at a resort in the Philippines' Samal Island.

The unidentified kidnappers fled by boat from the Holiday Oceanview resort. Closed-circuit television footage shows men speaking in English to the victims before the abduction.


The victims were identified as Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, who is the resort's manager, and an unidentified local woman. Authorities believe the victims were targeted and not taken randomly.

Samal Island, near Davao City in the Philippine's Mindanao island, is considered relatively safe. The last similar incident occurred in 2001 when an Islamist separatist group attempted to kidnap tourists at another resort.

Two Japanese tourists attempted to intervene in Monday's kidnapping, but failed. Neither was harmed.

"There are many lawless elements in Mindanao, but it's not clear which group is involved," Philippines military spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said, The New York Times reported.

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