World Bulletin / News Desk
Three Indonesians held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines have been turned over to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebel group.
MNLF spokesman Professor Samsula Adju was quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying Sunday that the sailors are currently being hosted by the MNLF’s fugitive founder, Nur Misuari, in the island province of Sulu.
“Yes, they were released to the MNLF by the ASG [Abu Sayyaf Group],” Adju said, adding that the Indonesians would be handed over to the Philippines government Sunday.
The sailors, abducted at sea in mid-July, were reportedly freed Saturday night, after the Abu Sayyaf released a Norwegian held hostage for nearly a year.
Kjartan Sekkingstad was kidnapped from a resort on the island of Samal in September last year alongside two Canadians and a Filipina. The Canadians were beheaded earlier this year and the Filipina released.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.
It is one of two militant groups in the south to have pledged allegiance to Daesh, prompting fears during the stalling of a peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that it could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.
In 2013, Misuari’s MNLF faction laid siege to the majority-Christian city of Zamboanga to protest a peace process by the MILF, which Misuari claims leaves Muslims in the country’s south shortchanged in comparison to an earlier MNLF peace deal.Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Eylül 2016, 09:57