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Jakarta Post

Indonesia thanks Philippines for hostage release

  • thejakartapost.com

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 11, 2016   /  06:59 pm
Indonesia thanks Philippines for hostage release Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, talks with, from left to right, Philippine's Navy Chief Rear Adm. Caesar C. Taccad, Philippine's Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras, Malaysia's Armed Forces Chief Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo and State Secretary Minister Pratikno during their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues at the presidential palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 5, 2016. The gathering was held following the kidnappings of Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen by Abu Sayyaf militants in the waters off southern Philippines where Indonesia share borders with the two countries. (AP/Rana Dyandra)

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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