RealNews

Hostage escapes Abu Sayyaf

An Indonesian sailor held captive by the militant Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines has managed to escape. The sailor, 27-year-old Julkipli, said he escaped into the forest on the island of Jolo, the Abu Sayyaf stronghold where he and three other Indonesians have been held since last year. Government troops were engaged in a gun battle against Abu Sayyaf units in the area late on Thursday night, allowing Julkipli to give his captors the slip, military spokesman Lieutenant General Narciso Abaya said. The fate of Julkipli’s fellow crew members is unknown, but he said the rebels had told him one of his colleagues had died. The four Indonesians were kidnapped in June 2002 from the Singapore-owned tugboat they were working on, near Basilan island. Full Story

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