Freed Norwegian, 3 Indonesian hostages handed to Dureza

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed Sunday the release of three Abu Sayyaf hostages in Sulu amid the intensified police and military operations against the rebel group in the region.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Felimon Tan said the Abu Sayyaf Group released three of their Indonesian hostages to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on Saturday evening.

This was following the release of their Norweigan hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad also to the MNLF on Saturday afternoon.

READ: Abu Sayyaf releases Norwegian captive in Sulu

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Dionardo Carlos said the released hostages were turned over to Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and to former Sulu governor Abdusakur Tan.

"The entourage of Sec Dureza is now proceeding to Jolo. The (released hostages) will be flown out from Sulu upon completion of necessary arrangement in Jolo, Sulu," he said.

Tan said the Indonesians and Sekkingstad will undergo debriefing and medical tests in the military headquarters in Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu.

On September 2015, Sekkingstad along with two Canadians John Ridsel and Robert Hall and Filipina Marites Flor were abducted in a resort in Samal Island, Davao Del Norte.

The ASG released Flor on June while the two Canadian nationals were beheaded after the government failed to pay the ransom that they were asking for in exchange of the hostages freedom.

The three Indonesians on the other hand was kidnapped by the bandit group last July 19 in Lahad Datu. (Sunnex)  
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