JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesians kidnapped by Philippine rebel group Abu Sayyaf were released on Sunday, May 1 at 12:00pm local time.
According to sources from Sulu and a senior police general who is privy to negotiations, the 10 Indonesian hostages were dropped off in front of Governor Abdusakur Mahail Tan’s residence in Jolo. They are now in custody of the governor.
Sources said the ransom was paid for their release on Friday, April 29. The release comes one month since the kidnapping.
Senior police officials are currently waiting in Zamboanga City, where the Indonesians are expected to be brought Sunday.
On April 20, Chief Security Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the company the sailors worked for, Patria Maritime Lines, had agreed to pay $1 million or Rp 14.3 billion worth of ransom for their release.
The 10 Indonesian sailors were kidnapped in waters of the conflict-wracked southern Philippines by Islamic militants who demanded a ransom for their release a month ago on Tuesday, March 29.
The crew was travelling on a tugboat pulling a barge from Borneo island to the Philippines when they were hijacked, Indonesian and Philippine officials said.
Hijackers on a wooden motor boat are thought to have abducted the sailors. The vessels’ owners received a ransom call from someone claiming to be from the Abu Sayyaf militant group the same day.
The release comes days after the Abu Sayyaf beheaded a Canadian hostage, when negotiations for ransom fell through.
In the past, Abu Sayyaf, whose leader has pledged allegiance to ISIS, has mainly targeted tourists as they can demand high ransoms for foreigners.
Many Western and other embassies routinely issue warnings against travelling to most of the Philippines’ Muslim-populated southern regions, which lie just northeast of Sabah, because of the risk of being abducted by the group.
Currently, 4 other Indonesians remain with the rebel group. They were kidnapped in a separate incident on Saturday, April 16. – Rappler.com/with reports from Agence France-Presse
Source – http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/bahasa/englishedition/131291-abu-sayyaf-hostage-release-kidnapping