Philip­pine mil­i­tants free three In­done­sian hostages

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IS­LAMIC mil­i­tants in the Philip­pines have freed three In­done­sian sailors ab­ducted at sea in the lat­est re­lease by the Abu Sayyaf group af­ter a kid­nap­ping spree in the restive south.

The Abu Sayyaf handed over the three men on Jolo Is­land to a ma­jor rebel group which then re­leased them to author­i­ties yes­ter­day, gov­ern­ment peace ne­go­tia­tor Je­sus Dureza said.

The three were part of a group of sailors ab­ducted by the Abu Sayyaf in June. The terms of the re­lease were not dis­closed, but the Abu Sayyaf typ­i­cally re­leases hostages af­ter hefty ran­som pay­ments are paid.

In­done­sia’s for­eign min­is­ter Retno Mar­sudi con­firmed the three hostages – Ferry Arifin, Edi Sury­ono and Muhamad Mabrur Dahri – had been freed and would be handed over to a team from the In­done­sian em­bassy.

Yes­ter­day’s han­dover was the lat­est hostage re­lease over­seen by Nur Misuari, an el­der Mus­lim rebel leader with the Moro Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Front (MNLF) group.

Af­ter a decades-long in­sur­gency, the MNLF is cur­rently en­gaged in peace talks with Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. The Abu Sayyaf is not part of the peace process.

In mid-Septem­ber, a Nor­we­gian hostage kid­napped in 2015 and three other In­done­sian sea­men were handed over by the Abu Sayyaf to Misuari who then passed them on to the gov­ern­ment. A few days later, an­other kid­napped In­done­sian sailor was freed through the MNLF. –

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