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Chinese woman kidnapped in the Philippines

GUNMEN abducted a Chinese woman in the volatile southern Philippines as troops pressed an offensive to fight a wave of kidnappings, officials said yesterday.

Two men in a car snatched Afen Ma Wu, whose relatives are wealthy traders in North Cotabato province, as she was walking in Kabacan town on Wednesday, a police spokeswoman said.

Troops stormed a militant jungle hide-out on Basilan Island the same day, targeting a motley group of al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants and local gunmen accused of such abductions.

The group is believed to have been involved in the recent beheading of a kidnapped farmer and the abduction of three teachers who were freed on Tuesday.

Ma, 24, was thought to be in the hands of a kidnapping gang called Pentagon.


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