MANILA -- A Vietnamese crewman was killed and six others were abducted as gunmen attacked a Vietnamese ship in Tawi-Tawi, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard spokesman Armand Balilo said Monday, February 20, the Vietnamese coast guard reported the MV Giang Hai, with 17 crewmen, was attacked by pirates Sunday night about 20 miles (31 kilometers) north of Pearl Bank in southernmost Tawi-Tawi province.

Rescuers from the coast guard and marines found the ship had drifted near the province's Baguan Island, with 10 Vietnamese crewmen alive and one dead. The cargo vessel's owner said the ship's captain was among those abducted.

Balilo said pursuit operations are underway, but the abducted crewmen's location and the attackers' identity remain unknown.

Abu Sayyaf bandits are suspected of being behind previous sea assaults in the area. (AP)


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