Philippines security forces rescue kidnapped Taiwanese visitor

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The Philippines security forces has successfully rescued the Taiwanese woman kidnapped from Pom Pom Island off Sabah on Nov 15, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khali

Philippines security forces rescue kidnapped Taiwanese visitor

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The Philippines security forces has successfully rescued the Taiwanese woman kidnapped from Pom Pom Island off Sabah on Nov 15, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today.

Khalid in his Tweet offered his congratulations to the successful rescue of 58-year old Chang An Wei.

He said the woman was rescued in Sulu and is now being treated at Merin Hospital.

He said she would be flown to Zamboanga City tomorrow.

“Congratulations to the Philippine security forces; the Taiwanese national abducted on Pom Pom has been rescued,” he tweeted this evening.

He also tweeted the Malaysian police were awaiting news on the latest development from the Philippine authorities.

Meanwhile, AFP reported Chang, also known as Evelyn Chang, was found by Philippine marines at a village near Talipao, a town on the remote island of Jolo where Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants are known to operate.

“She is in good condition,” local marine brigade commander Colonel Jose Cenabre told AFP by telephone.

The woman was taken to a military hospital for a medical check-up in the town of Jolo, the capital of Jolo island, about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) south of Manila, Cenabre added.

He said the identities of his kidnappers were unknown, though Abu Sayyaf gunmen who are known carry out kidnappings operate in the area.

Press reports in Malaysia and Taiwan have said the woman and her husband were holidaying on Pom Pom island in Sabah state, which is near the Sulu island group that includes Jolo, when gunmen attacked on November 15.

The reports said the gunmen killed the husband and abducted the wife.

A Jordanian television reporter, Bakr Atyani, walked free from a Jolo jungle earlier this month, 18 months after he was abducted by the Islamist militants.

The Abu Sayyaf is a small Islamist movement that has been blamed for a string of terrorist attacks and kidnappings of foreigners in the Philippines.

It was founded with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network to fight for an independent Islamic state, though it later turned into a criminal gang.

US Special Forces have been rotating through Jolo and other parts of the southern Philippines for more than a decade to train local troops battling the group, which is on Washington’s list of “foreign terrorist organisations”.

Philippine authorities say Abu Sayyaf gunmen are believed still to hold a number of foreign as well as Filipino hostages on Jolo, including two European birdwatchers and a Japanese treasure hunter.

Dutchman Ewold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerra of Switzerland were abducted in the Tawi-Tawi island group near Jolo in February last year, while Amer Mamaito Katayama of Japan was abducted on the island of Pangutaran near Jolo in July 2010.

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