Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Xinhua reports, "A U.S. aid worker and his three companions have been kidnapped by their bodyguards on Jolo Island, southern Philippines, local media reported on Wednesday." The aid worker is an engineer and program manager for Growth With Equity, a USAID project. Although not widely reported by mainstream international media, the radical Islamic Abu Sayyaf Group has been responsible for a large number of violent incidents in the southern part of the Philippines. It remains to be seen the motivation for this abduction. 10/19/06 Update - More details here; the abduction looks criminal versus political. 10/20/06 Update - The abductees appear to have been released unharmed.