The Jakarta Post
Indonesia is thanking the Philippine authorities for their role in releasing four hostages, saying that the freed men are safe under the neighboring country’s protection.
“In the next couple of days they will send them back home,” presidential spokesperson Johan Budi told Kompas TV during an interview broadcast live on Wednesday.
Johan said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed his deep appreciation for the efforts and cooperation of the Philippine government in facilitating the release.
President Jokowi had earlier announced that the four remaining Indonesians held captive by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines had been released safely.
The Indonesian sailors, kidnapped by the militant group in April, are now in the hands of the Philippine authorities and will be handed over to the Indonesian government soon, Jokowi said at the State Palace as reported by kompas.com.
He gave no further details regarding the release.
The four sailors had been employed as crew aboard the Henry, a tugboat, and Christie, a barge, sailing in Malaysian and Philippine waters in mid-April when they were taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group. (afr/rin /dan)
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