JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affair A.M. Fachir said that three Indonesian fishermen taken hostages by Abu Sayaff group last year have been freed.
The Abu Sayyaf group, also known as Al Harakat Al Islamiyya, is a separatist group consisting of militias based around the southern Philippine, including Jolo, Basilan and Mindanao. Khadaffi Janjalani was named as the leader of this group by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The three hostages Hamdan Salim, Subandi Sattuh and Sudarlan Samansung, were taken hostages since Jan. 18, 2017 when they were on board of a boat in Taganak Island of Tawi -Tawi province in South Philipine.
“For the time being. I can only said it is true that the three Indonesian citizens who were taken hostages since January 2017 have been freed,” said Fachir at the Presidential Palace on Monday(17/09).
Currently, the three Indonesian citizens are in healthy condition. However, Fachir can not explain in detail their whereabout for the security reason.
“In one or two days, if there is progress, we will inform you. We cannot inform you details because of security consideration.” added him.
The three Indonesians were reportedly taken at gunpoint by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants off Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island.
The hostages were brought aboard motorboats to the gunmen’s jungle hideout in Sulu, a poor, predominantly Moslem province in the southern Philippines where the Abu Sayyaf has had a presence since the late 1980.
The group is blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization.
Efforts by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia to beef up security along their massive sea border have considerably eased piracy and kidnappings in the past months.
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