Abu Sayyaf members sentenced

Two senior members of a militant Islamic group in the Philippines have been sentenced to life imprisonment for abducting an American citizen.

The two men, Hector Janjalani and Muhammad Ajijon, belong to the Abu Sayyaf group, which is fighting for a separate Muslim state in the Philippines and is said to have links with al-Qaeda.

They were found guilty of kidnapping an American man, Jeffrey Schilling, while he was visiting the island of Jolo with his Philippine fiancée in 2000.

The Abu Sayyaf members captured Mr Schilling, accusing him of being a spy and held him for several months, demanding ransom. He eventually managed to escape.

In another development a suspected member of Abu Sayyaf pleaded not guilty to charges of organising the kidnapping of 21 Asian and European tourists from a holiday resort in Malaysia.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

27/02/2004

Bron : BBC World

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