PH says Abu Sayyaf no longer holding Malaysian hostages
The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that the Abu Sayyaf is no longer holding Malaysian hostages after three men were rescued on Monday.
The Embassy confirmed on Tuesday that Fandy Bakran, Mohd Jumadil Rahim and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail were rescued just days after two of their companions were released. The five men were crew members of the ship Serundung 3.
“The latest three were taken by elements of Joint Task Force Sulu to Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga for medical check-up, and then debriefed by security officials,” the Embassy said in a statement.
They were flown to Manila on Tuesday before flying back to Malaysia.
“There are no more Malaysians in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group. All have been recovered and accounted for,” the Embassy said.
It took note of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affair’s message thanking the Philippines “for [its] efforts in rescuing the kidnapped Malaysian victims.”
“The Embassy reaffirms the Philippine Government’s resolve to prevent further kidnappings and piracy in the Sulu Seas and to hold the Abu Sayyaf group and their affiliates to account for their crimes,” the Embassy said.
A report from Malaysia’s The Star said “overwhelming military presence” in Jolo forced the Abu Sayyaf fighters to abandon the Malaysian hostages. JE
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