Rescued Malaysian hostage dies in Philippine hospital

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-10 01:25:35|Editor: yan
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MANILA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian kidnap victim Jari Bin Abdullah, who was rescued from the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers in a volley of gunfire five days ago, passed away on Tuesday in the southern Philippines, the Philippine military said on Tuesday.

The military said in a statement that Abdullah was surrounded by some members of his family and Malaysian Embassy staff when he died at 1:17 p.m. local time on Tuesday at a local hospital in Zamboanga City.

Abdullah was shot in the back while trying to escape when Philippine Marines were attempting to rescue him.

The military said Abu Sayyaf militants abducted Abdullah and two other Indonesian hostages off Sabah, Malaysia on December 6 last year and brought them to the remote jungles of Sulu province in the southern Philippines.

"We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families of Abdullah," Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the Philippine Western Mindanao Command chief, said, adding Philippine troops "are exhausting all efforts to defeat the Abu Sayyaf and bring justice to the victims of terror."

Meanwhile, the Philippine military said the rescued Indonesian kidnap victim Heri Ardiansyah, who was plucked from the waters by marines aboard a gunboat, was formally turned over to the Indonesian Embassy in Manila on Tuesday.

The body of another Indonesian kidnap victim Hariadin, who had drowned while trying to escape his captors, was also brought to Manila Monday night, the military said.

Ardiansyah and Hariadin were also rescued on April 5 by Philippine troops while on the pursuit of Abu Sayyaf militants in the seawaters off Simusa Island.

The marines killed three Abu Sayyaf militants during the two-day rescue operations on the island.

With the rescue of the three, the military said the Abu Sayyaf militants are left with only three hostages - Dutch bird watcher Elwold Horn, who was kidnapped in 2012, and two Filipinos.

Abu Sayyaf gained notice in the southern Philippines in the early 1990s, with demands for an Islamic state. It acquired worldwide notoriety with a series of kidnappings and beheadings.

Philippine authorities referred to the Abu Sayyaf group as nothing more than a collection of bandits.

The Philippine government has formed an entire army division to hunt down the militants blamed for a series of kidnapping and bombings in the southern region, including twin bombings on January 27 this year in a church in Jolo city, Sulu province that killed 23 and injured more than 100.