Armed men abducted Mayor Jeffrey Lim of Salug, Zamboanga del Norte, on Monday night, police and military officials said.

Eight to 10 men, carrying high-powered firearms and clad in shirts marked with “Pulis” and camouflage pants, seized Lim at the bus terminal in Salug town proper around 7 p.m., Dir. Felicisimo Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said.

The mayor was then forced to board a mini-van, which the suspects drove towards the adjacent barangay of Caracol, some 3.5 kilometers from the town proper, Khu said in a text message.

Policemen pursued the vehicle, which had a registration plate carrying the numbers 811, but found it abandoned and burned in Caracol, he said.

Lim was allegedly transferred to one of two white fishing boats “waiting” at the shore and were later reportedly seen negotiating towards Salug Bay, according to the police official.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said members of the 10th Infantry Battalion and policemen are now conducting joint operations to rescue the mayor. (John Roson)

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