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Gunmen in police uniforms abduct Philippine mayor

April 2, 2012
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MANILA, Philippines—Philippine authorities say gunmen wearing police uniforms abducted a town mayor while he was inspecting a bus terminal in the country's restive southern region.

Police say Mayor Jeffrey Lim of Salug town was dragged into a waiting van Monday evening, which was later found burned with no trace of the victim or the suspects.

Regional police director Napoleon Estilles said Tuesday that authorities are investigating the motive and the gunmen's identities. Checkpoints were set up to intercept them.

Ransom kidnappings are common in the southern Philippines, where proliferation of weapons, weak law enforcement and a long-running Muslim rebellion are behind decades-long unrest. Mayors are rarely targeted, however.

Kidnappers last month released two teachers.

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