The Jakarta Post
The seven Indonesian crewmen taken hostage by armed militants in the waters of southern Philippines last week are in good condition, a minister confirmed on Monday.
The government received the update from Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who is in the Philippines meeting with his counterpart, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said.
The location of the hostages was also revealed in the meeting, Luhut said, but he refused to give further details.
"That is one step [locating the hostages]. The next step is to cooperate with the Philippine army," Luhut said in reference to the respective governments' efforts to see the release of the hostages, as quoted by kompas.com on Monday.
Seven of the 13 crewmen aboard the tugboat Charles 001 and its barge Robby 152 were taken hostage while sailing through the Sulu waters on its way back to Indonesia from the Philippines. The boat was hijacked twice by two different groups of armed militants within less than two hours.
The six remaining men who were set free returned to Samarinda, East Kalimantan, on Sunday evening after being questioned by the Navy a day earlier at the naval base in Balikpapan on details of the incident. (liz/rin)
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