Malaysia/Borneo Island – On the 2 Apr 14 six men armed with pistols raided a tourist resort in the Semporna district on Borneo Island. The armed men were believed to be from the Filipino Abu Sayyef terrorist group based in the Philippines. The terrorist organisations have been implicated in seaborne kidnappings in the past. The terrorists then left by the same way they arrived in a speed boat. In Nov 13, suspected Abu Sayyaf fighters shot and killed a Taiwanese tourist and kidnapped his wife from a resort in the Semporna area. The woman was released a month later in the southern Philippines. Authorities did not say whether a ransom was paid. The Abu Sayyaf has tenuous historical links to international armed groups, including al-Qaeda, but a US-assisted Philippine military crackdown on the group's heartland in Sulu province in the southern Philippines has weakened it considerably in recent years. The group has around 300 fighters and is focused on kidnappings for ransom, and is believed to be holding more than a dozen captives, including two European bird watchers who were seized from Tawi-Tawi province in 2012. In 2000, Abu Sayyaf gunmen crossed the porous maritime border with Malaysia in speedboats and snatched 21 European and Middle Eastern tourists, and Malaysian and Filipino workers from Malaysia's Sipadan diving resort and brought them to the southern Philippines, where the captives were released in exchange for ransom. One of those taken hostage in this recent attack was Chinese. Relations between Malaysia and China are at a current low due to the disappearance of flight MH370 and this incident will not help.
Pakistan – An explosion ripped through a train in Pakistan's restive south-western province of Baluchistan, killing at least 12 people. The bomb went off on the Rawalpindi-bound Jaffer Express in a carriage reserved for men in the town of Sibi about 160km south of the provincial capital of Quetta. The United Baloch Army claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after paramilitary troops, said they had launched an operation in the violence-racked province and killed around 40 armed men. Resource-rich Baluchistan is home to a long-running separatist conflict that was revived in 2004, with nationalists seeking to stop what they see as the exploitation of the region's natural resources and alleged rights abuses.
Sri Lanka – Three Tamil rebels, reportedly involved in the revival of the movement that was crushed by the military five years back in Sri Lanka, were shot dead in the northern part of the country on the 11 Apr 14. The three members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were killed in Padaviya, 320 km north-east of the capital, during a search operation by the army. The shootout was the first major incident after the end of the conflict in May 2009, when the rebel movement was crushed. The 26 year Tamil rebellion in the north and east of the country was aimed at establishing an independent homeland for minority Tamils. The Ministry said the move came following reports that the rebels were attempting to revive the LTTE in the north. In the past few weeks, the Ministry said that they had made several arrests and recovered weapons and ammunition hidden by the rebels.