Freed hostage relives ordeal
A Norwegian man freed by militants after a year of jungle captivity in the southern Philippines has described the ordeal as “devastating”. Kjartan Sekkingstad spoke while carrying a backpack with a bullet hole as a reminder of a neardeath experience that included the beheadings of the two Canadians kidnapped with him. Sekkingstad was freed by his Abu Sayyaf captors on Saturday to rebels from the larger Moro National Liberation Front, which has signed a peace deal with the Philippine government and helped negotiate his release. Yesterday, he was handed over to authorities. Aside from the horror of constantly being warned he would be the next to be beheaded, Sekkingstad said he also survived more than a dozen clashes between Philippine forces and his captors in the jungles of Sulu province. Clad in a rebel camouflage uniform and muddy combat boots, he was asked how he would describe his experience. “Devastating, devastating,” he said.
SAFE: Kjartan Sekkingstad