Islamic militant group frees hostages
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. –