Jakarta [Indonesia] March 21 (ANI): Three Indonesian fishermen kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants more than a year ago have been rescued in the southern Philipines, the police said.
The hostages were part of an eight-man crew aboard a Sabah-registered fishing vessel before armed gunmen of kidnap-for-ransom militants, who have distant links to the Islamic State group, abducted them to the southern Philippines ( Borneo), where the Abu Sayyaf operated in January 2020.
According to The Jakarta Post, they were held in Suhu province in the southern Philippines, three were released, and one died during the ordeal. Earlier this week, three men and one of their captors were found on the beach in the province of Tawi Tawi after their motorboat got stuck in bad weather, police lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said, to The Jakarta Post.
A fourth fisherman is missing while four militants travelling in a separate boat "were lost due to strong winds and big waves", Eleazar said. A search operation was underway as were efforts to identify the victims and locate their families, he added.
On January 16, last year six members from a faction of the Abu Sayyaf group a loose association of militants who kidnap for ransom, abducted five Indonesian fishermen from their fishing boat in Sabah's easternmost waters off Lahad Datu, Malaysia, about 10 minutes from the Tawi-Tawi chain of islands in the southern Philippines as reported by The Jakarta Post.
Abu Sayyaf is a group of self-proclaimed Islamic militants based in the southern Philippines who have engaged in bombings as well as kidnappings of Western tourists and missionaries for ransom since the early 1990s. In recent years, the group has also preyed on cargo ships, tugboats, and fishing vessels in poorly policed waters of the region near the sea borders with Malaysia and Indonesia. (ANI)