Sayyaf frees another Indonesian hostage

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Philippine military on Thursday said Abu Sayyaf bandits have freed a kidnapped Indonesian skipper of a fishing boat in Sulu in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

It said the 38-year-old Herman Bin Manggak, who was snatched along with two others on August 3 in Sabah, was handed over by the Abu Sayyaf to the rebel Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Misuari.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) did not release details surrounding the release of the Indonesian or whether ransom had been paid to the bandits, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Security officials said Herman was turned over by the MNLF to the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu on September 22. The foreigner was interviewed by Army interrogators at Camp Teodulfo Bautista before being handed over to the Westmincom.

Malaysian authorities said Herman was the captain of a Malaysian fishing vessel and that two of his crew, an Indonesian and a Malaysian national, was released earlier by the kidnappers who originally demanded a 10,000-ringgit ransom.

The MNLF did not release a statement. Misuari’s group has assisted in the release of over a dozen hostages, including a Norwegian man kidnapped last year at Samal Island in Davao del Norte province.

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