Abu Sayyaf frees 2 kidnap victims in Philippines

AP News
Posted: Aug 28, 2011 5:51 AM
Abu Sayyaf frees 2 kidnap victims in Philippines

Police in the southern Philippines say Muslim militants have freed two traders from a week of jungle captivity after a ransom was paid.

Police say the Abu Sayyaf gunmen freed the two in a village in mountainous Patikul town in Sulu province Sunday near where the militants killed seven marines in a July 28 clash. Two of the marines were beheaded, prompting a new military crackdown on the small but brutal al-Qaida-linked group.

Police say relatives paid $2,400 (100,000 pesos) to secure the release of the Filipino traders. They were snatched on Aug. 21 as they were returning home after selling clothes in a marine camp.

The Abu Sayyaf still holds two Americans of Filipino descent, a Filipino midwife, an Indian, a Malaysian and a Japanese convert to Islam.