• Sayyaf frees professor in Jolo

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Kidnappers have freed a Filipino professor at dawn Wednesday after more than five weeks in captivity, police said.

    Police said Al Rashid Rojas was released in the town of Jolo. It was not immediately known whether ransom was paid for his freedom, but kidnappers originally demanded P20 million for his safe release.

    Rojas—also a researcher at the Western Mindanao State University here—was kidnapped June 22 in his house in Campo Islam village in Zamboanga City by gunmen clad in military uniform.

    Authorities have linked Abu Sayyaf rebels under Idang Susukan to the kidnapping of Rojas.

    Police said Susukan’s group was also involved in the kidnappings of a local school principal Flordeliza Ongchua in November 2012 and a restaurant owner Edgar Fabella in January this year. Both had been freed unharmed after their family paid ransom to the gang.

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