The Jakarta Post
Four Indonesian sailors released by their Abu Sayyaf captors have been reunited their families, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The deputy foreign minister [AM Fachir] has handed over the four Indonesians freed by the Abu Sayyaf group to their respective family representatives,” the ministry said in a press release.
An official from East Flores regency witnessed the handover ceremony held at the Foreign Ministry on Jl.Pejambon, Central Jakarta, on Monday.
Three of the four Indonesian sailors, Theodorus Kopong Koten, Lorens Koten and Emmanual, are from East Flores, West Nusa Tenggara. They were on board a Malaysian-flagged fishing boat when it was attacked in Lahad Datu waters, Malaysia, on July 9.
Herman Manggak is a sailor from Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. He was on board a Malaysian-flagged fishing boat hijacked in Sabah waters on Aug. 3.
Accompanied by a Foreign Ministry official, the four men arrived in Indonesia on Saturday.
"All processes have been completed in accordance to their families' requests," the ministry further said. Unlike previous occasions, the handover of the four former hostages was conducted privately, without media presence.
Five Indonesians still remain in captivity. These sailors are held by two different groups in the southern Philippines, according to the government, adding that it was continuing efforts to see to the safe release of the five crewmen. (ebf)
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