Saturday, November 23, 2019

Indonesia striving to release three citizens abducted by Abu Sayyaf

From Xinhua (Nov 22, 2019): Indonesia striving to release three citizens abducted by Abu Sayyaf

JAKARTA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government has been striving to free three of its citizens from the abduction of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the Philippines, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The three Indonesian nationals are 48-years-old Maharudin Lunani, 27-years-old Muhammad Farzan and 27-years-old Samiun Maneu who have been taken hostage by the group since Sept. 24, said Judha Nugraha, the Ministry's Director for Protection of Indonesian Citizens.

In a video footage released last week, one of the hostages unveiled that the abductors demanded a ransom of eight billion rupiahs ( about 567,174.8 U.S. dollars).

"The three persons displayed in the video footage are confirmed as Indonesian nationals who have been held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group since September," the director revealed.

Currently the Indonesian government has been coordinating with the authorities of Malaysia and the Philippines to free the victims.

The three persons worked for a fishing company in Malaysia and they were abducted by the armed group in the water off Pulau Tembisan of Sabah, Malaysia.

The abduction rises the number of Indonesians kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf group which has so far kidnapped over 36 Indonesian citizens since 2016, and most of them were released, according to the ministry.

The latest kidnapping occurred despite a trilateral agreement among the military forces of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on joint patrols in the waters situated at the border areas of the countries.

The Abu Sayyaf group has often perpetrated kidnappings, bombings and beheadings in western Mindanao of the Philippines.

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