Monday, June 19, 2017

Philippines: Injured Vietnamese hostage rescued in Basilian

PHILIPPINE military troops have rescued a Vietnamese sailor who was held hostage for seven months by Abu Sayyaf militants in the country’s south.
According to AFP (via Rappler), the 28-year-old man was rescued on Friday following an airstrike and artillery fire on the militant’s camp in Basilian which had disperse the kidnappers.
Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokeswoman Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay confirmed the sailor was being treated for an unspecified wound on his back.
However, AFP added there was no way to independently verify the military’s account of the rescue.
Hoang Vo was one of six people captured last November when a vessel they were on was boarded by members of the militant group off Sibago Island.
Wesmincom confirmed the Abu Sayyaf group are holding 26 hostages, including several foreigners, in Sulu and Basilian. The group kidnaps foreigners and locals holding them for ransom on its remote island strongholds in Mindanao.
In March, German national, Jurgen Kantner, was beheaded by the Islamist group after being held on the southern island of Jolo.
This is despite Kantner appealing for help twice and pleading that he would be killed if the ransom was not paid. The militant group is known to behead its hostages if ransom payments are not made.
Philippines soldiers found the elderly man’s remains while the troops were conducting combat, search and retrieval operations in Indanan town in Sulu.
President Rodrigo Duterte made an apology to Germany for the Philippines’ failure to save Kantner. He also insisted that ransoms should not be paid.