Wife of Briton kidnapped in Philippines

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Gunmen have kidnapped the Filipina wife of a British national in the southern Philippines, the second abduction of a woman married to a European in three months, police said Monday.

Luisa Galvez Morrison, 34, was seized by armed men in her beauty salon in the island of Mindanao late Sunday and taken away in a van that was later found abandoned, said regional police head Chief Superintendent Elpedio de Asis.

"Our police and military forces have been tracking down all the leads on this kidnapping case," de Asis said.

The woman was from the area and recently returned to open the salon, de Asis added. Her husband worked for an oil company in Malaysia.

So far, there has been no ransom demand for the woman, he said.

The British embassy could not be contacted for comment.

Kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreigners, are a common occurrence in the lawless south, where Muslim insurgents, extremists and armed gangs are active.

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 are yet to trace the three.

© 2011 AFP

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