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Philippine Government hails release of Abu Sayyaf hostages

The Philippine government on Tuesday hailed the release of four hostages of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf after eight months in captivity, saying this would pave the way for the capture of their abductors. “We are gladdened by reports that the Indonesian hostages are free,” presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said in a statement. “This opens the way for a stronger operational offensive to bring their abductors to justice,” Bunye said. The hostages — three Indonesians and one Filipino — were freed upon payment of a 200,000-ringgit ransom. They were kidnapped from a resort island in Borneo last October. Reports did not say where the money came from. Bunye said the government was firm in its resolve to “finish off” the Abu Sayyaf, and the Jemaah Islamiyah, which are linked to the al-Qaeda terror network. Full Story

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