MNLF joins search for abducted foreigners

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has joined the search for three foreigners and a Filipina kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

The MNLF said it is helping locate Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Tess Flor who were abducted on September 21 from the upscale Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort on Samal Island off Davao del Norte province.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is also helping free the victims, has sought help from MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari.

Duterte, citing an intelligence report, claimed that the victims are being held by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).


Habib Mudjahab Hashim, of the MNLF, said Duterte and Misuari spoke on the phone.

“Mayor Duterte, I was informed, got in touch with brother Nur, and brother Nur is now convening his commanders in Sulu for whatever decisions that will be made, but indications are brother Nur will listen to Duterte. I think he will help in the possible safe release of the hostages,” Hashim said in a television interview.

“We believe that Duterte, being a friend and a man of peace, I think he can do a lot, and it’s only him among the leaders of Mindanao that brother Nur would listen most,” he added.

Misuari is wanted for his alleged role in the September 2013 MNLF attacks in Zamboanga City that had displaced over 100,000 people and more than 200 people were killed.

There is no official confirmation either from the military or police authorities that the hostages were taken to Sulu and no group have claimed responsibility for the abduction.

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