2 Indonesian hostages released by their Abu Sayyaf captors

AP News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2018 10:02 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two Indonesian hostages have been released after being held for more than a year in the southern Philippines by their Abu Sayyaf captors, Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The two fishermen, identified as La Utu bin Raali and La Hadi bi La Adi, from the Wakatobi islands in Southeast Sulawesi province were freed Friday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, the ministry said.

They were kidnapped November 5, 2016, from different fishing boats in waters off Sabah, Malaysia.

Indonesian officials in the Philippines are arranging their return home with local authorities, the ministry said in a statement.

Details about their release were not immediately known.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States and the Philippines for deadly bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

Indonesia and its neighboring countries of Malaysia and the Philippines now conduct joint maritime patrols in in the Sulu Sea to fight pirate attacks and transnational crimes.