Gang of kidnappers, not Islamist terrorists, abducted Irish priest in Philippines
October 14, 2009
The Philippine regional military commander whose forces have surrounded the area where a kidnapped Irish missionary priest is being held said that contrary to earlier indications, an unnamed gang of kidnappers, rather than the Islamist terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, abducted Father Michael Sinnott on October 11. “More or less, we have an idea what particular group is responsible but as of the moment, we cannot divulge it,” said Major General Ben Dolorfino.
The Philippine government has appealed to a Muslim rebel group, the 11,000-member Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to assist in obtaining the release of Father Sinnott. Government forces have sighted the kidnapped priest three times but have been hesitant to act out of concern for Father Sinnott’s safety.
Father Sinnott, now 79 and ailing following recent heart surgery, has spent four decades ministering in the Philippines. He directs the Hangop Kabataan Foundation, which assists Christian and Muslim children with disabilities.
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- Appeals for Release of Irish Priest (Vatican Radio)
- Kidnapped priest seen thrice; military holds fire (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- Philippines asks rebels to help free Irish priest (AP)
- Philippine troops, gunboats surround Muslim militants who kidnapped priest (CWN, 10/13)
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