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Jakarta Post

Abu Sayyaf captives back on Indonesian soil

  • thejakartapost.com

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 2, 2016   /  09:12 am
Abu Sayyaf captives back on Indonesian soil Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo (second right) welcomes the 10 Indonesian sailors taken hostage by Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta late on Sunday. (Antara/M. Agung Rajasa)

Ten Indonesian seamen released by Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta around midnight on Sunday, having been held hostage for over a month. 

The airplane carrying the  10 tugboat crew members held captive by the rebels in the southern Philippines landed at 11:30 p.m, Presidential Press Bureau chief Bey Machmudin said as reported by Antara news agency.

The arrival ended the men's 36-day ordeal, which began with their kidnapping on March 27.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi told journalists on Sunday that the government had secured the 10's release through formal and informal networks, as well as intensified diplomacy.

Meanwhile, four other Indonesians, along with more than a dozen nationals of other countries, remain in the hands of Abu Sayyaf.

While the Philippine constitution forbids the involvement of foreign militaries in the country, the Indonesian Military (TNI) has said it it is ready and willing to assist operations to free the Indonesian hostages.

TNI chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said the military would in the meantime conduct intelligence operations to help secure the return of the remaining four Indonesians. (rin)

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