The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu would hold talks with his Philippine counterpart Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday in Manila.
Ryamizard said the talks would discuss the Indonesian nationals still being held hostage by militants and fighters of the Islamic State (IS) radical group returning to the region.
"They [the hostages] are being moved around and used as human shields," he said onboard a Manila-bound aircraft.
"The hostages are also being used for ransom."
Ryamizard also said he was monitoring 23 IS fighters who had retreated from the Middle East and had entered Indonesia.
"I have warned six months ago the possibility of IS fighters retreating to Southeast Asia," he said.
Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo had said earlier that IS had been losing ground in Iraq and Syria to internationally backed forces and had started building a base in Mindanao, which shared a border with Kalimantan and Sulawesi. (yan)
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