JAKARTA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian armed forces (TNI) will set up cooperation with the Philippine armed forces to release seven Indonesian nationals being held hostage by an armed group in the Philippines, an Indonesian senior official said here on Monday.
The plan was made after Indonesian foreign ministry said last week that the repeated kidnappings of Indonesian citizens by an armed group in the southern Philippines could not be tolerated.
Indonesian Security Chief Minister Luhut Pandjaitan disclosed that Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizar Ryacudu is visiting the Philippines now and has met with his Philippines' counterpart Voltaire Gazmin to discuss the matter.
"I have just talked with Minister Ryacudu, it seems there has been a progress from the meeting," Minister Pandjaitan said at security chief ministry.
"There will be cooperation between the TNI and the Philippines armed forces," he said.
The minister revealed that the location of the seven Indonesian citizens being abducted been found out.
Seven Indonesian seamen, crews of Tugboat Charles 001 and Robby barge ship 152, were held hostages by an armed group in the Sulu Sea of the southern Philippines on June 20, according to Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi.
That is the third abduction of Indonesian nationals in the waters between the two countries this year.
The abductors released six out 13 people on boards, Retno added.
Minister Retno said that the government condemned the acts and will take all possible measures to release them.
The abduction occurred after the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines reached an agreement last month to conduct a joint patrol to secure the waterways at the borders of the nations.