2 kidnapped S. Koreans recovered in PH

Posted at 11/27/11 1:15 PM

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines - Two South Koreans kidnapped in the lawless southern Philippines were rescued by the military on Saturday, days after one of their compatriots was also recovered alive, an official said.

The two were found in the same remote part of Mindanao island where the first South Korean was rescued on Thursday, said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang.

"They are now in the custody of the soldiers," Cabangbang said in a brief statement from Mindanao.

He identified the pair as Wu Seok-Bung and Kim Nam-Du but did not give details of the rescue or their condition.

The first South Korean, Choi Inn So, has been taken to hospital for treatment for an ulcer, Cabangbang added.

The three South Koreans were lured from their hotel in the trading city of Cagayan de Oro on October 21 and reportedly taken to Lanao del Sur, a heavily forested province about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away.

Police earlier said the three had been scouting for mining opportunities in Mindanao when they were taken and the kidnappers had contacted the captives' relatives using their mobile phones.

Foreign governments warn their citizens to avoid many parts of the southern Philippines because of the threat of violent crime, including kidnapping for ransom.

A Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines that has dragged on for more than 40 years, with the conflict providing fertile ground for a wide range of militants, bandits and pirates who carry out such abductions.