Priest Kidnapped in Philippines

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines, JUNE 10, 2007 ( A missionary priest from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions was kidnapped in the coastal village of Bulawan.

Italian Father Giancarlo Bossi, 57, was kidnapped by at least 10 men today after celebrating Mass in the parish church of Payao, AsiaNews reported. There has been no demand for ransom so far, said an officer of the civil-military operations branch of the Filipino army.

The officer, Colonel Godofredo Paderanga, said the leader of the kidnappers was identified as a Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrilla leader.

According to AsiaNews, the Filipino army has been at war with that separatist guerrilla group for years. Both Christian and Muslim religious are calling for an end to conflict in the region. Father Bossi is the third Italian priest to be kidnapped in the area in the last 10 years.