KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian minister says gunmen have demanded a ransom of 500 million Philippine pesos ($11.3 million) for the release of a Chinese tourist abducted last week from a resort off Borneo island.
The kidnappers, believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants, kidnapped a 28-year-old woman from Shanghai and a 40-year-old Filipino woman from a resort in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah on April 2.
Philippines authorities say the women were believed to have been taken to Simunul in the Philippines’ Tawi-Tawi province. Sabah, a popular tourist destination, is just a short boat ride from the southern Philippines, home to Muslim militants and kidnap gangs.
Malaysian Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said Thursday that a Malaysian team has been sent to negotiate the reduction of ransom. He didn’t give further details.