MANILA - Four people were hurt after a bungled kidnapping in the remote, strife-torn island of Jolo sparked a brief shootout, a military spokesman said Saturday.
Medical doctor Marian Lao, who was reportedly being targeted by the extremist group Abu Sayyaf, was injured along with her two escorts and a policeman, said the regional military spokesman, Major Filemon Tan.
Two motorcycle-riding suspects fired at Lao and her security men at her clinic, prompting the policeman, who was on duty on the other side of the road to return fire, Tan said.
The assailants escaped. It was not immediately known if they were members of the Abu Sayyaf, a rag-tag group of several hundred militants who recently beheaded a Canadian hostage.
The group, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria, is believed to be holding several other foreigners including another Canadian and a Norwegian.
Jolo, on the country's southwestern tip, is a known lair of Abu Sayyaf militants.