'Ransom demanded for Australian'

PHILIPPINE police say suspected Muslim militants have demanded a ransom for the freedom of a kidnapped Australian and have sent proof he is alive.

Police Senior Superintendent Ruben Cariaga said on Sunday the kidnappers mailed four pictures of 53-year-old Warren Richard Rodwell to his Filipino wife before Christmas and called her to demand an initial ransom of $22,750.

Mr Rodwell was abducted by six gunmen on December 5 in southern Zamboanga Sibugay province by several armed men who are believed to have fled in speedboats.

Bloodstains were found at the coastal home from which he was taken. A search of nearby islands failed to find any trace of him.

Mr Rodwell's wife, with whom he runs a store in the seaside town of Ipil on Mindanao island, said she had no way of raising the ransom, police said.


Topics:  kidnapping philippines

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