Jakarta. An Indonesian news portal reported on Monday that around ten Indonesians have been taken hostage by members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group based in southern Philippines.
Detik.com reported on Monday that the Al Qaeda-linked militant group hijacked Indonesian-flagged tugboat Brama en route from Banjarmasin in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province to the Philippines.
The portal reported that the Indonesian vessel was found abandoned in the Filipino province of Tawi-Tawi by local police.
Authorities in the Philippines, Detik said, have received a demand for ransom equivalent to at least $1 million for the crew's release.
The portal quoted State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Sutiyoso confirming the incident. “It's true. It happened on Saturday,” Sutiyoso told Detik.com.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry has refused to comment, saying it was still verifying the report.