Philippine soldiers rescue Briton's kidnapped wife

19th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Soldiers rescued the kidnapped Filipina wife of a British national following a clash with her Al-Qaeda-linked captors in the southern Philippines on Monday, the military said.

Three members of the extremist Abu Sayyaf group were also believed killed in the gunbattle that led to the recovery of Luisa Galvez Morrison, 34, said military spokesman Lieutenant Randolph Cabangbang.

Members of the Elite Scout Ranger unit were investigating reports of Abu Sayyaf members in the strife-torn island of Basilan when they came upon the armed group.

"After the firefight, they discovered that she was hidden there in the forest," Cabangbang told AFP.

One soldier was wounded, he said, adding that several other Abu Sayyaf were also hurt in the gunbattle.

Soldiers are still searching the area for the bodies of the slain and wounded extremists, Cabangbang said.

Morrison, who is married to a Briton working for an oil company in Malaysia, had some injuries to her feet but they were not serious, Cabangbang said.

The British embassy could not be contacted for comment.

The woman was kidnapped by three gunmen from her beauty salon in the troubled southern island of Mindanao on September 4.

The Abu Sayyaf have previously carried out kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreigners. They sometimes behead their captives if a ransom is not paid.

The group, which was founded in 1990 with Al-Qaeda funding and has been blamed for the Philippines' worst terrorist attacks, including a ferry bombing that killed more than 100 people in 2004.

Other armed groups including criminal gangs also kidnap for money.

In July, a Philippine-born woman married to a German man was abducted along with her son and a Filipino nephew in the same region. Authorities have yet to trace the three.

© 2011 AFP

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