SOLYMONE BLOG

Indonesian Sailors Home After Philippine Kidnap Ordeal

Ten Indonesian sailors held hostage by Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants returned home Sunday after being freed in the southern Philippines, less than a week after the gunmen beheaded a Canadian captive. 
About five weeks after being abducted, the 10 tugboat crew turned up outside the house of the provincial governor on the remote Philippine island of Jolo. 
They flew back to Jakarta later the same day, arriving on a private plane at an air force base before being driven away in a minibus without speaking to reporters.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said they would undergo medical checks before being sent home.
"Our prayers have been answered," Rahmat Mansyur, brother of freed hostage Wawan Saputra, told AFP in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province. 
"A few days ago when the kidnappers beheaded a hostage we were very worried, but now we heard he is safe we feel so blessed.
" Officials did not say if any ransom was paid for the 10 Indonesians. 
Abu Sayyaf does not normally free hostages unless a ransom is paid. 
There has been a recent upsurge of kidnappings in the strife-torn southern Philippines, and the Indonesians' release came just six days after Abu Sayyaf beheaded Canadian tourist John Ridsdel, for whom they had demanded a US$21 million ransom. 
Authorities said the group is still holding at least 11 foreign hostages – four sailors from Indonesia and four others from Malaysia, a Canadian tourist, a Norwegian resort owner and a Dutch birdwatcher.

Source: AFP, The Sunday...More...
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