Kidnapped Muslim trader freed

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (With a report from Ely Dumaboc)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Abu Sayyaf militants have freed a Muslim trader they kidnapped last year in Zamboanga City as security forces clashed with the gunmen in Sulu province in southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said Araji Maani was released last week in the village called Wanih Piyanjihan in Sulu’s Parang town. It was unknown whether Maani’s family had paid ransom to the militant group. Maani, who was kidnapped in July 27, 2015, was also interviewed by the police and military before returning to Zamboanga City to be reunited with his anxious family.

His release coincided with fighting between soldiers and militants in Maligay province in Patikul town on the other side of the province that left one Abu Sayyaf member dead.

There were no reports of military casualties, but officials said troops were continuing with their operation in Sulu against the Abu Sayyaf which is still holding 7 Indonesians, a Dutch, Norwegian and a Japanese man, including three more Filipinos.

Military forces were also battling another Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan province. Both Sulu and Basilan belong to the Muslim autonomous region.

Undisciplined truck and jeepney drivers occupy the opposite lane of this busy road near Veterans Avenue in Zamboanga City and block the flow of traffic during rush hour. A traffic enforcer who is near the area ignore this violation of traffic rule. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Ito ang isa sa mga gusali ng Ateneo de Zamboanga University na nilamon ng apoy. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Nicole Priscilla)

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