MANILA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — An Indonesian hostage kidnapped nearly three months ago by the Abu Sayyaf Group escaped Thursday from abductors and was rescued by the Philippine military in Sulu province in the southern Philippines.
Military and police authorities said Indonesian fisherman, named Usman Yusuf, 35, managed to escape at dawn from his abductors in the jungle camp where he was being held in the remote village in Panamao town in Sulu.
Yusuf was seized in September, along with another Indonesian Samsul Saguni, by Abu Sayyaf militants while fishing off Palau off Semporna archipelago in Sabah, Malaysia, according to a military report.
They were reportedly brought to Talipao town also in Sulu where they were kept.
Police said Yusuf managed to escape and run several kilometers until he reached a village in Luuk town. Villagers reportedly helped him by alerting the military in the area, authorities added.
A military report said Yusuf was rescued at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Yusuf’s companion Saguni is still in the hands of Abu Sayyaf Group along with two other foreign hostages, a Dutch national and a Vietnamese, plus some Filipino hostages.
The kidnapping of Yusuf and Saguni took place despite a trilateral agreement among the militias of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia on patrolling the waters in that region.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines will deploy an army division in Sulu mainly to track down the Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
Philippine security forces have been trying to crush the Abu Sayyaf terrorists since early 2000. The terrorists often carry out kidnappings, bombings and beheadings in western Mindanao, particularly in their lair in the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.