Guerrillas kill two more in Philippines

Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines — A Muslim extremist group with links to Osama bin Laden kidnapped four coconut farmers on a southern island Saturday and beheaded two of them when they tried to escape, police said.

Bensali Jabarani, police chief of the island province of Basilan, said the Abu Sayyaf rebels invaded the outskirts of the village of Atong Atong before noon Saturday and took the four while they were gathering coconuts from a local plantation.

He said the guerrillas beheaded coconut farmers Isabelo Adlawan and Fernando Romeo after they tried to flee and that the two others escaped and reached a local police station.

The Abu Sayyaf, thought to number 1,000 fighters, has kidnapped dozens of foreigners and Filipinos in recent years and raised millions of dollars in ransom. They still hold two Americans and at least 14 Filipinos, and are accused of the grisly murder of a Californian tourist.

The rebel group says they have ties to bin Laden and that several members were trained in Afghanistan. U.S. and Filipino authorities have said the same. The Abu Sayyaf claim to be fighting to create an independent Islamic state in the southern region of Mindanao, but the government dismisses them as bandits.

On Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Manila confirmed that bones found last week on Basilan were those of Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif.

The Abu Sayyaf abducted Sobero along with two other Americans and 17 Filipinos on May 27 from a southwestern beach resort. Missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham of Wichita, Kan., are still being held captive.

A coconut farmer who escaped from captivity last week, Faizal Benasing, said the two American missionaries have been treated with respect, but have lost weight from lack of food.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A semi-truck rolled over blocking all traffic lanes Thursday morning on I-5 north just south of Arlington on Sept. 21, 2023. (Washington State Patrol)
Overturned trailer spills fish onto I-5 near Arlington, closing lanes

The crash blocked all lanes, forcing drivers going north during rush hour to use the left shoulder.

The Marysville Municipal Jail is pictured Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Marysville weighs mandatory jail time for repeated ‘public disorder’

The “three strikes” proposal sets a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail for crimes like public drug use and trespassing.

Everett police on patrol heard gunshots near 26th Street and Lombard Avenue and closed off multiple roads as they investigated on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Everett Police Department)
3 teens arrested after gunfire in downtown Everett

No one was injured. Police heard gunfire in the area of 26th Street and Lombard Avenue.

It’s time to celebrate and say thanks

Local journalism — and community support — will be the stars of Behind the News Stories on Oct. 24 in Edmonds.

Most Read