Indonesia, Philippines join hands to free abductee of Abu Sayyaf

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-26 22:07:20|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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JAKARTA, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian and the Philippine governments have jointly sought to release another Indonesian national who is being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the Philippines.

Muhammad Farhan, 27, and his two fellow sailors were kidnapped by the group in September in the waters of Sabah in Malaysia, but the latter have been freed recently.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday said that Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana has promised to work hard to set the hostage free.

"I have communicated with the Philippine defense minister over the effort to free one hostage. We asked for a rescue effort to immediately free the hostage alive, and the Philippine defense minister said that he will work hard for the rescue mission," said Retno.

Besides, she said, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will meet his Philippine counterpart to discuss the mission, local media reported.

The kidnap of the three Indonesian nationals by the Abu Sayyaf group was found out weeks ago when a video footage was released, and one of the hostages unveiled that the abductors demanded a ransom of 8 billion rupiahs (about 567,174.8 U.S. dollars), according to the Foreign Ministry.

The three Indonesians worked for a fishing firm in Malaysia.

The abduction of the three persons has made the number of Indonesian nationals kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf group exceeded 36 since 2016, and most of them were freed, according to the ministry.

The latest kidnapping occurred despite a trilateral agreement among the military forces of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on joint patrols in the waters located at the borders of the countries.

The Abu Sayyaf group has often involved itself in kidnapping, bombing and beheading incidents in western Mindanao of the Philippines.