The Indonesian Embassy in Manila yesterday confirmed reports that an Indonesian tug, Brahma 12, has been hijacked in the far south of the Philippines with the 10-strong crew held hostage.

Reports in the Philippines suggest the attack was conducted by the militant group Abu Sayyaf although the Indonesian embassy has not confirmed this. Ransom in excess of $1m has allegedly been demanded.

The tugboat was seized just off the island of Tawi-Tawi.

Abu Sayyaf has taken a number of hostages recently. Earlier this month it posted a video of three foreign hostages, two Canadians and one Norwegian, who are being held for ransoms totalling to $60m.