Another Indonesian sailor has been kidnapped by a group of unidentified gunmen in the waters of the Sulu Sea, which has been a commonplace for a number of abductions by the Islamist extremists in recent months, officials said on Sunday.
Indonesia's ambassador Herman Prayitno said the kidnapping took place on Wednesday in the waters off the north-east of Sabah state, on the Malaysian side of Borneo Island.
"(The vessel) was intercepted by a boat carrying four armed men," Prayitno told AFP.
Prayitno also said the kidnappers kidnapped the Indonesian captain as they failed to get the RM 10,000 which they demanded. Two other crew members, an Indonesian and a Malaysian were released by the gunmen.
However, the foreign ministry of Indonesia said it was still trying to figure out which group was responsible for the abduction.
This is the latest incident of kidnapping after a series of abductions in the Sulu Sea.
In recent months, ten other Indonesians were kidnapped by the Philippine Abu Sayyaf extremist group and they are still being held by the militants. The group, who are based in remote and mountainous southern Philippine islands, also beheaded two Canadian hostages this year as their ransom demands were not met.
Apart from Indonesians, several Malaysian sailors have also been kidnapped this year.
Indonesia has banned its flagged vessels from sailing to the Philippines and has asked to implement a joint maritime patrol in the vital waterway.