Authorities in Manila say troops have arrested a militant accused of taking part in a notorious kidnapping of foreign tourists at a Philippine resort five years ago.

Army chief Lieutenant-General Hermogenes Esperon said Monday that government troops arrested Burham Sali, an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group, on the southern island of Mindanao on Sunday.

Sali is suspected of playing a role in Abu Sayyaf's 2001 kidnapping of 20 tourists and workers at a resort on the western Philippine island of Palawan.

The kidnap victims included three Americans. One - Guillermo Sobero - was beheaded; a second American -the missionary Martin Burnham - was killed, and the third hostage - his wife, Gracia Burnham - was wounded during a rescue attempt by the Philippine military.

Sali also is a suspect in another kidnapping a year earlier at a school on the southern island of Basilan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.