Philippines: 2 US tourists abducted, say police

A group of about a dozen gunmen reportedly abducted two American tourists along with a Filipino relative Tuesday while they were on vacation at a small island in the Philippines, police told journalists.

Local police chief Nonito Asdai told AFP the gunmen raided the island by boat before dawn Tuesday, made bodyguards lie on the ground and then snatched Americans Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, 50, and her son, Kevin, 14, and Lunsmann's Filipino nephew, Romnick Jakaria, 19.

The abduction occurred on the Tictabon island off Zamboanga. Islamist militants and Muslim separatists are active in Tictabon, BBC reports.

The woman, who was adopted by an American couple in her childhood, reportedly owned the resort from which they were abducted.

Army Col Buenaventura Pascual, a commander of an anti-terrorist task force in Zamboanga, told BBC troops were deployed to search for the captives.

Authorities are looking into reports that the gunmen took their captives about 12 miles away to Basilan Island, which is a stronghold for Abu Sayyaf Islamist militants, AFP reports.