Troops rescue 1 of 2 European bird watchers in Sulu

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government forces have safely rescued one of the two European bird watchers seized by the Abu Sayyaf brigands two years and nine months ago off Tawi-Tawi, a military official announced Saturday.

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Ensign Chester Ian Ramos, Joint Task Force Zambasulta information officer, said Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 49, was rescued around 7:00 a.m. Saturday in Barangay Timpook, Patikul, Sulu.

Ramos said the safe rescue of Vinciguerra, a Swiss national, came after the latter escaped from his captors.

“According to Vinciguerra he took advantage of the situation by escaping from his abductors while the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) units are conducting intensified Law Enforcement Operations,” Ramos said in a text message to the Philippines News Agency.

However, Ramos said Vinciguerra was wounded as the Abu Sayyaf brigands shot him during his escape.

He said Vinciguerra was immediately taken to the task force headquarters in Jolo, Sulu.

The Abu Sayyaf brigands have seized Vinciguerra together with Dutchman Ewold Horn, 52, while they were on a bird watching trip in February 2012 in the province of Tawi-Tawi.

The hostages were later moved to the hinterlands of Sulu. PNA

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