Incident Summary:

12/05/2018: Gunmen abducted three fishermen near Pegasus Reef, Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia. The hostages were later moved to the Philippines. One hostage escaped on April 4, 2019 but was shot several times during the attempt and died in the hospital five days later. The two remaining hostages attempted to escape on April 5, 2019. One of the hostages drowned during the escape attempt, while the other escaped successfully. No group claimed responsibility for the incident; however, sources attributed the attack to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).




Southeast Asia

region/u.s. state:


Kinabatangan district

Location Details:
The incident occurred off the coast near Pegasus Reef.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Fishermen
Nationality of Target Malaysia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 3
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 121
Outcome Combination
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 7
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 2 Fatalities / 1 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 2
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 1
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Three fishermen kidnapped and now in Philippines, police confirm," New Straits Times, December 11, 2018.
"Rescued Malaysian hostage dies in Philippine hospital," Xinhua News Agency, April 9, 2019.
"Abu Sayyaf captive escapes, another drowns, 3rd shot," Philippines Daily Inquirer, April 6, 2019.