Freed hostage re­lives or­deal

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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

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