Is­lamic mil­i­tant group frees hostages

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A NOR­WE­GIAN and three In­done­sian sea­men held hostage in the Philip­pines were turned over to a gov­ern­ment en­voy yes­ter­day af­ter be­ing freed by Is­lamic ex­trem­ists who had be­headed two cap­tives in June.

Kjar­tan Sekkingstad and the In­done­sians, who had been held by Abu Sayyaf mil­i­tants, were handed over to en­voy Je­sus Dureza in the town of In­danan on Jolo is­land, said an AFP re­porter at the scene.

The trans­fer took place at the heav­ily guarded camp of an­other Mus­lim rebel leader Nur Misuari, whose group as­sisted in the re­lease ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment.

Mr Sekkingstad was ab­ducted from a high-end tourist re­sort which he man­aged in Septem­ber 2015, along with two Cana­di­ans who were later be­headed.

It was still un­clear if the three freed In­done­sians were the ones kid­napped by armed men off a fish­ing trawler in Malaysian waters in July.

Es­corted by a small con­tin­gent of Jolo po­lice, the freed cap­tives and lo­cal of­fi­cials met in a build­ing sur­rounded by hun­dreds of Misuari’s fight­ers from the Moro Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Front be­fore leav­ing for a mil­i­tary camp, a re­porter said. –

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