Three Indonesian fishermen abducted off Sabah

A Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessel (Philippine Coast Guard file photo)

A fishing boat crewed by three Indonesian nationals was boarded by pirates in the waters off Sabah, Malaysia, on Monday, September 23.

The Information Sharing Centre of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP) reported that the boarding occurred at 13:00 local time when seven perpetrators aboard two pump boats came across the Indonesian vessel off Sabah’s Tambisan Island.

The perpetrators, who are said to have been armed with assault rifles, pistols, and grenade launchers, then abducted the Indonesian fishermen and fled in the direction of Tawi-Tawi province in the southern Philippines.

The Philippine Coast Guard has since intensified its seaborne and coastal security patrols in the waters of Southwestern Mindanao in coordination with Malaysian authorities in the wake of the abduction.

Authorities believe the perpetrators are members of the Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine terror group with known links to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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