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Posted: 11/27/2001 12:05:10 AM EDT
Go here:[url]http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011126/wl/philippines_americans_dc_4.html[/url]
U.S. Hostages in Philippines Talk of Death, Freedom MANILA (Reuters) - A U.S. woman held hostage with her husband for months by Philippine gunmen linked to Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) wept in a television video shown Monday and spoke of her fear of dying in the jungles. Martin and Gracia Burnham, both missionaries from Wichita, Kansas, were kidnapped by the Muslim Abu Sayyaf guerrillas from a resort in the southwest Philippines in May. The couple were interviewed Sunday while in captivity on the southern island of Basilan, according to freelance journalist Arlene de la Cruz. Gracia, wearing a Muslim veil, spoke between sobs in snippets from the meeting aired by local television channel Net 25. ``We always look at each other and I'd tell Martin, I love you, I want you to know before I die,'' Gracia said. ``Every time I hear even a twig snap I think it's a gunshot. I wake up hearing gunshots in the middle of the night,'' she added. While she voiced fear of dying in captivity, her husband spoke of his determination to return home alive with her. ``We are still ... strong and we plan to come home at the first available minute. We want to come home. Our condition is that we are not happy here. So while we are still alive and while we're still strong (we want) to keep going, we want to go home.'' Abu Sayyaf leader Abu Sabaya said during the interview his group was ``willing to negotiate'' the release of their captives but that they preferred to die fighting than surrender. The video showed young guerrillas -- one of them 9 years old, according to de la Cruz -- holding assault rifles. The United States has linked the Abu Sayyaf to Islamic militant bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, prime suspects in the Sept. 11 air attacks on the United States. The group claims to fight for an Islamic state in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines but pursues kidnap for ransom as its main activity. A third American hostage, Californian tourist Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded by the group in June. YEARN FOR THEIR CHILDREN
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Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:05:54 AM EDT
``My parents, I know, and my brothers and sisters, they are in Kansas, they are surrounding my children with love but there's no substitute for parents and we would like to be there,'' Martin Burnham said The couple are missionaries with the New Tribes Mission and have three children ages 10, 12 and 14. Gracia described the hardships of being held captive in the remote jungle hide-outs of the Abu Sayyaf. ``This is no way to live. There's no way to take care of yourself. Last night, I woke up with severe chest pains and there's nothing you can do,'' she said. She added: ``We have sores in our mouths because there's no nutrition in the things we are eating.'' The Burnhams have been based in the Philippines for 15 years. They were at the Dos Palmas resort to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary when they were kidnapped, along with Sobero, and 17 Filipinos. Some of the Filipinos had been also beheaded and others were freed after ransom payments. ``Our love for the Philippines and our love for the people with whom we worked has not diminished. Our children were all born here in the Philippines,'' Martin said. The military said Monday army rangers captured two members of the Abu Sayyaf late Sunday afternoon near Isabela City on Basilan island as government forces continued to scour the island for the captives. ``We have some positive development, but I would rather not talk at the moment,'' Armed Forces Southern Command chief Lt. Gen. Roy Cimatu said, but voiced optimism they were closer to rescuing the American couple. Besides the Burnhams, the Abu Sayyaf are still holding a Filipina.
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Why hasnt this appeared on American news outlets? Why is the US government doing nothing about this? This charade has gone on way too long.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 12:11:38 AM EDT
And this story goes with the photos thumbhole posted earlier: [url]http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011126/wl/philippines_fighting_dc_4.html[/url]
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