4 Indonesians kidnapped by pirates, vessels hijacked

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia says four of its nationals have been kidnapped and another shot in the hijacking of a tugboat and barge in the waters near the border with Malaysia and the Philippines.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry says in a statement Saturday that the gunshot victim and five other crew members escaped the hijackers and are now in Malaysia.

The ministry says the incident happened early on Friday evening.

It comes after the kidnapping in March of the 10-member crew of an Indonesian tugboat and barge in the often insecure border region between the southern Philippines and Indonesia.

In that case, the owner of the hijacked tug boat received telephone calls, purportedly from the militant group Abu Sayyaf, demanding a ransom.

Authorities believe the 10 Indonesians are held captive in the Philippines.

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