Americans, kin are abducted
MANILA, Philippines - More than a dozen armed men abducted a naturalized American, her teenage son, and a Filipino nephew before dawn Tuesday from a southern Philippine island near a stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked extremists, officials said.
Suspicion fell on Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for ransom kidnappings, beheadings, and bombings in the last two decades, or on a Muslim rebel commander whose group has been linked to previous abductions.
The assailants seized Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, her 14-year-old son and 19-year-old Filipino nephew from a house in Zamboanga city's Tictabon island village, then fled with their captives in two motorized boats, said Senior Police Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo. No contact or ransom demand has been made by the abductors, and their identities remain unconfirmed, de Ocampo said.
U.S. search ends for 7 Americans
TIJUANA, Mexico - The U.S. Coast Guard is ending aerial searches for seven Americans still missing after a charter fishing boat sank off Mexico.
The Coast Guard said its search Tuesday of a 803-square-mile area of the Sea of Cortez by a C-130 Hercules aircrew would be its last.
Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo said the 11th Division's "deepest sympathies go out to the friends and families of the missing men." Baja California State Civil Protection Director Alfredo Escobedo Ortiz said small Mexican naval craft and other fishermen would continue searching for bodies or survivors.
The boat went down July 3. Nineteen U.S. tourists and 16 Mexican crew members made it to land. One was found drowned on a remote island beach. The others remain missing.
Greek and French experts are helping Cypriot investigators piece together what caused dozens of containers of seized gunpowder to explode on the island's main naval base, killing 12 people, an official said Tuesday. The explosion leveled Evangelos Florakis base. Many parts of the island are still intermittently without electricity after the concussion wave knocked out the main power station.