Abu Sayyaf releases 2 Indonesian captives in Sulu

By Roel Pareño

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A photo printout provided by the military shows the images of the two Indonesians freed by the Abu Sayyaf on Friday night in Sulu. AFP/Released 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Two Indonesian hostages were freed Friday night after more than one year in captivity by the Abu Sayyaf group in the jungle of Sulu, the military said.

Released captives were identified as La Utu bin La Raali and La Hadi La Edi, boat captains of Malaysian fishing vessels.

Reports from the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) disclosed that the survivors were escorted by unidentified "emissaries" to the house of former Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan Sr. at Barangay Asturias, Jolo about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Tan immediately alerted the JTFS about the release of the two hostages after providing them with food and other necessities.

The survivors were immediately brought by the military to the station hospital of the Armed Forces of the Philippines inside Camp Teodulfo Bautista at Barangay Busbus for medical check-up.

The two were seized on Nov. 5, 2016 off the waters of Pegasus Reef and Kuala Kinabatangan near Taganak Island, Tawi-Tawi. They were among the five remaining Indonesian hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf group.

The release brought the number of foreign captives to five, including three Indonesians, a Dutch and a Vietnamese. Three Filipinos, on the other hand, are still being held captives by the Abu Sayyaf group based in Sulu, according to the military.

The Abu Sayyaf is notorious for kidnappings, beheadings and deadly bombings. 

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