KOTA KINABALU: Four Indonesian sailors are believed to have been kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf gunmen in Philippine waters as six other crew members, including one who was injured, managed to escape to Sabah's east coast district of Semporna.
The incident - the third in a month on tugboats plying international waters near Philippines' Tawi Tawi islands - is believed to have occurred at about 8pm yesterday.
Of the crew members who escaped, the injured one has been sent for medical treatment in Semporna while the other five sailed on to Lahad Datu to seek police assistance.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said details of the incident were unclear, but confirmed that it happened in international waters.
Police were still gathering more information. It is understood that the tugboat was on its way from the Philippines to Indonesia's Banjarmasin.