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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Canadian hostage ill, as military offensive against ASG rages

One of the three foreign hostages of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu is suffering from illness and is only being carried by his captors as they seek to evade an ongoing military offensive.

A senior Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader revealed this yesterday, saying he got the information from a relative of one of the ASG leaders holding the hostages.

He identified the sick hostage as Canadian John Ridsel, said to be at least 60 years old.

“Abu Sayyaf members are only carrying him (Ridsel) because he has difficulty in walking due to his sickness,” the MNLF leader said.

Being potential sources of money, he said the gunmen are taking care of their captives but the conditions in the jungles of the province are just too much for  the sick hostage. “Throw in the offensive, and you will get the idea,” he said.

The informant did not give details on the Canadian’s affliction.

The MNLF leader said the ASG is now constantly on the move to escape the military operations. He said they are led by ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan and are now in an area of Patikul municipality.

by Edd K. Usman

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