One hostage escapes, another drowns and third shot

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MANILA, Philippines — An Indonesian hostage held by Muslim militants throughout the southern Philippines swam his approach to freedom nevertheless another drowned, and a Malaysian was shot throughout the once more whereas escaping, officers acknowledged Saturday.

The two Indonesians and the Malaysian individually escaped whereas Philippine marines have been making an attempt to rescue them on Simusa island in southern Sulu province over the last two days, acknowledged regional navy spokesman Lt. Col. Gerry Besana.

The dramatic escapes depart a minimal of three additional hostages throughout the custody of the Abu Sayyaf, which is blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist group due to its brutal historic previous of bombings, ransom kidnappings, extortion and beheadings. The remaining captives embrace a Dutch fowl watcher, Elwold Horn, who was kidnapped by the militants in 2012, and two Filipinos.

One of the Indonesians, Heri Ardiansyah, was plucked from the waters by marines on board a gunboat whereas they recovered the physique of his companion, Hariadin, who drowned. The marines gunned down three Abu Sayyaf captors who’ve been attempting to chase the 2 Indonesians at sea, navy officers acknowledged.

The Malaysian, who was acknowledged by the navy as Jari Bin Abudullah, was shot by the militants when he ran away Thursday as marines tried to rescue him and engaged his captors in a gunbattle. Government forces surrounded Simusa island, the place a small group thrives near mangroves, to hunt out the remaining Abu Sayyaf gunmen.

The Malaysian was airlifted to Zamboanga metropolis, the place he was in necessary state of affairs in a hospital, navy officers acknowledged.

The Islamic State group issued an announcement confirming it killed three and wounded 13 Philippine troopers, however it acknowledged “the mujahideen returned safely to base.”

The three hostages have been kidnapped off Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island in December last yr and taken by speedboat to Sulu, a predominantly Muslim and poverty-wracked province the place numerous hundred Abu Sayyaf have survived throughout the jungles no matter frequent navy offensives.

Army troops on Friday clashed with about 80 Abu Sayyaf gunmen in Sulu’s mountainous Patikul metropolis in a fierce nevertheless transient gunbattle that left three troopers and 4 militants lifeless and numerous wounded on both facet, the navy acknowledged.

The rebels belong to an Abu Sayyaf faction led by commander Hajan Sawadjaan and aligned with the Islamic State group. Sawadjaan is the first suspect throughout the bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral all through a Mass that killed 23 principally churchgoers and two suspected suicide attackers on Jan. 27 in Sulu’s capital metropolis of Jolo.

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