GOVERNMENT forces recovered Thursday two Indonesian nationals abducted by the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sabah, Malaysia in November last year.
Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana identified the kidnap victims as Saparuddin Koni and Sawal Maryam.
The two kidnap victims were intercepted aboard an Asian utility vehicle in Barangay Bunot, Indanan, Sulu, around 6:30 a.m.
They were brought to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical tests and debriefing.
Sobejana said the recovery of the two kidnap victim came after the encounter between government troops and 20 bandits led by Abu Sayyaf leader Idang Susukan in Barangay Upper Binuang, Talipao, Sulu.
After the firefight, Sobejana said the bandits fled leaving behind the remains of their slain companions and three high-powered firearms.
The clash resulted in the death of five rebels and the wounding of five soldiers, he said. The soldiers were taken to a military hospital in Jolo.
Koni and Maryam were taken by the Abu Sayyaf bandits on November 19, 2016 in the waters of Merabong, Kunak District in Sabah. (SunStar Philippines)