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Abduction Alarm for Foreign Religious in Mindanao

ICC Note:

Foreign religious are on high alert this week as many have been threatened with kidnapping by armed gangs and other groups associated with Abu Sayyaf. One missionary reported that some of their priests insist on working with escorts to protect themselevs against kidnapping attempts.

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11/13/08 Philippines (AsiaNews) There is high alarm over kidnappings for foreign religious working in Zamboanga del Sur, in the southern Philippines. The religious have been threatened with kidnapping by some armed gangs and groups affiliated with Abu Sayyaf, the local al Qaeda cell.

Confirmation comes from Fr. Sebastiano d’Ambra, a missionary of the PIME and president of the movement for interreligious dialogue Sillasilah, who says that “some of our priests in Zamboanga del Sur work with some escorts,” to protect themselves against kidnapping attempts.

Leaders of the MILF are calling upon members of the bishops and ulemas conference of Mindanao to “remain neutral” in the peace process in the region, despite the appeal issued by Filipino president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is asking the religious leaders to participate actively in resolving the conflict.

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