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Military rescues kidnapped British-Filipino couple in Sulu

Photo of HYRONS couple with soldiers. Photo courtesy of Philippine Army's 11th Infantry Division

Soldiers take a photo with the rescued couple. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army’s 11th Infantry Division

MANILA, Philippines —Soldiers from the Army’s 2nd Special Forces Battalion have rescued a kidnapped British national and his wife, more than a month after they were abducted by armed men believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf group.

Soldiers recovered businessman Allan Arthur Hyrons and his wife, Welma Paglinawan-Hyrons around 8:30 a.m. after a firefight with Abu Sayyaf gunmen along the border villages of Silangkan and Taha in the town of Parang, Sulu, regional military commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said.

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“We successfully rescued Allan and Wilma Hyrons,” said Sobejana.

Sobejana did not provide more details except that the couple were already in the hands of government troops.

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“Their health conditions are okay but I need to have them checked with our doctors to make sure,” the official of the Western Mindanao Command said.

Sobejana said the rescue of the couple was a result of three days of intensified military operations. Seven members of the Abu Sayyaf were killed in separate encounters with the Army over the weekend, including a suspected liaison of the Islamic State to the Abu Sayyaf Group, Talha Jumsah or “Abu Talha.”

“We pursued, we did a hot pursuit so it’s a convergence of efforts among our forces on the ground,” Sobejana said.

A 10-minute running gunbattle between the bandits and soldiers took place before the British-Filipino couple were secured by government troops.

“This is has a major impact on our efforts and it will cause a huge setback on our enemies. This is a big blow to their morale. We can see they are demoralized so we need to take advantage of this,” Sobejana said.

The Hyrons were kidnapped in their beach resort in Brgy. Alindahaw in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur last October 4.

The couple will undergo medical examination and custodial debriefing in Jolo.

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Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, AFP, British couple, Global News, local news, Military, Philippine news update, rescue
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