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Monday, September 19, 2016

Abu Sayyaf frees 2 more hostages in Sulu

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on Sunday night released two hostages, this time two Filipinos kidnapped last month.

Major Felimon Tan, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said Daniela Taruc and Levy Gonzales were released by their ASG captors in Barangay Tiptipon, Panglima Estino  in  Sulu at 10:30 p.m.

Tan said the two Filipino hostages were recovered by a concerned citizen.

The two were brought to the headquarters of the Joint Task Force Sulu in Jolo to undergo medical check-up before being turned over to the proper authorities.

The victims were sub-contractors of a telecoms company and employees of the Power City Corp.
They were kidnapped by undetermined armed men in Barangay Timpook in Patikul town last August 6.

Tan said the release was a result of Joint Task Force Sulu's continuing focused military operations in collaboration with police counterparts against the ASG.

11 foreigners, 3 Filipinos

On Saturday, the ASG released to the Moro National Liberation Front four hostages including Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and three Indonesian sailors.

The ASG's release of hostages came amid the military's intensified offensive in Sulu and Basilan on orders of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview on GMA News' Unang Balita, AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said the ASG is still holding 11 foreigners and three Filipinos.

Padilla said the release of the hostages over the weekend is a result of the military's continuous offensive against the ASG.

"Nanniwala kami na ang pagpapalaya kay Sekkingstad ay dahil sa patuloy na pressure na nararamdaman ng Abu Sayyaf ay dahil sa patuloy at walang humpay na military operations. —ALG, GMA News

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