Alert after tourists kidnapped in the Philippines

Alert after tourists kidnapped in the Philippines

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British travellers have been alerted to the risk of kidnapping in the Philippines after four people were abducted from a tourist resort in the south of the country.

Two Canadians, a Norwegian and a local woman were kidnapped by gunmen late on Monday local time from the Holiday Oceanview resort on Samal Island, near Davao City on Mindanao.

Authorities said two Japanese tourists had tried to intervene to prevent the kidnapping, which took place shortly before midnight.

Philippine authorities named the Canadian abductees as John Ridsel and Robert Hall.

The Norwegian, Kjartan Sekkingstad, was said to be the manager of the resort.

The Filipino woman has not been identified, but she is said to be the partner of one of the kidnapped Canadians.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice with information on the kidnapping risk in the Philippines in the wake of the incident.  

Military captain Alberto Caber reportedly said it appeared the four were targeted rather than taken at random.

The Associated Press quoted Captain Caber as saying a naval blockade was being set up around the island to stop kidnappers from reaching another island in the southwest known to house militant strongholds.

The southern Philippines has seen sporadic incidents of kidnapping by Muslim militant groups, who hold hostages for ransom, since the 1990s, the BBC reported.

The last related incident on Samal took place in 2001 when Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyaf attempted to kidnap tourists at another resort.

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