Islamists Kidnap 12 Teachers and Students (Philippines)

Manila, Philippines (AHN) – Armed men believed to be members of a Muslim militant group on Tuesday morning abducted 12 teachers and students while they were preparing for classes.

Reports reaching the capital Manila has shown that the armed men stormed the village of San Roque elementary school in Lanao del Norte, southern Philippines Tuesday morning at around 7am, local time.

The abduction of the teachers and students came as government negotiators are still trying to negotiate for the safe release of television journalist Ces Drilon, her cameraman and professor-guide, who were abducted by members of the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Zamboanga also in southern Philippines.

The kidnappers of Drilon and company earlier gave until noon Tuesday to receive at least $700,000 in ransom or they will behead their hostages.

They later extended their deadline for ransom and promised not to hurt the journalist.

In Tuesday’s kidnapping, the military said the suspects took mostly female captives and left behind male students.

The armed men fled with the victims on foot, authorities say.

The military is now conducting search and rescue operations for the victims.