Philippine troopers rescued two Indonesian hostages right this moment (Thursday, September 7) after a firefight that killed 5 Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
Five troopers have been wounded within the encounter with about 20 militants on the group’s Sulu Island stronghold, Brigadier-General Cirilito Sobejana mentioned.
“Minutes later, we intercepted a van which was carrying two Indonesian captives while pursuing the Abu Sayyaf after the encounter,” he mentioned.
“It seems they have been in a position to flee their captors after the encounter.
“They are now safe and undergoing tactical debriefing after medical checkup.”
The males are mentioned to be in good bodily form regardless of their 10-month ordeal.
Abu Sayyaf have attacked quite a few business ships within the Sulu and Celebes Sea, kidnapping sailors and demanding ransoms.
Alongside these profitable crimes, the group can also be affiliated to the so-called Islamic State.
Abu Sayyaf sometimes holds at the least two dozen hostages at any given time. As victims are executed, rescued or launched for ransom, the group sometimes kidnaps others.
A German and two Canadians are amongst those that have been beheaded since final 12 months.
Five Indonesian hostages nonetheless held
Brig. Gen. Sobejana mentioned the Indonesian fishermen have been kidnapped from a Malaysian-registered boat in waters close to the Malaysian state of Sabah in November. They have been recognized as Sarapuddin Koni and Sawal Maryam.
He added that the group was nonetheless holding about 18 captives on Sulu and Basilan Island, together with foreigners. These embody 5 from Indonesia, seven from Vietnam and a Dutchman.
One Vietnamese sailor was rescued final month after 9 months in captivity.
Abu Sayyaf fighters are among the many militants who’ve occupied Marawi City for greater than 100 days.
Troops are nonetheless combating to retake town after a battle that has killed greater than 800 individuals, together with 145 troopers.
A lot of civilians are being held as human shields by the terrorists and as much as half-a-million individuals have been displaced by the combating.