Last Indonesian hostage in South Philippines set free

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Muhammad Farhan, an Indonesian held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf armed group in South Philippines, was successfully freed on Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020.

Farhan was rescued by the Philippine military in Baranggay Bato Bato, Indanan Sulu, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry noted in a written statement released on Thursday.

Farhan had undergone a medical checkup at the Westmincom Hospital in Zamboanga and declared healthy. The Philippine authorities will later hand him over to the Indonesian Embassy in Manila and will be flown to Indonesia.

Farhan is one of the three Indonesians abducted by the Abu Sayyaf group in the Tambisan waters, Lahad Datu, Malaysia, on September 23 last year.

Two other Indonesians were freed on December 22, 2019, through an operation launched by the Philippine military.

With Farhan's release, all Indonesians held hostages by the armed group have been freed.

The Indonesian government has commended the sound cooperation with the Philippine government, including Division 11 AFP in Sulu, in freeing the Indonesian hostages.

According to data from the Indonesian consulate in Tawau in the Malaysian state of Sabah, 39 Indonesians were abducted and held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf armed group during the period between 2003 and 2019.

Most victims were migrant workers abducted or held hostage while conducting activities in the waters off Sabah's eastern coast, Sulistijo Djati Ismojo, chief of the Indonesian consulate in Tawau, stated on Tuesday (Dec 24).

Of the total, 37 were freed, while one hostage died.

Source: Antara News

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