Malaysian authorities have clarified that the news of the abduction of four people by militants in southern Philippines was a rumour.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the Philippine authorities have not received any kidnapping report. "It was only a rumour and police also have not received any information on the report to date," he told Bernama.

Tawi-Tawi police director Joselito Salido told ABS-CBN on Thursday that a group of unidentified suspects allegedly brought the captives to the shores of Sitankai and later they were transferred to Sulu.

However, Khalid had said earlier that the Royal Malaysian Police were not informed about such kidnapping and they were waiting for a report from the Philippines authorities.