The Indonesians were freed Friday with the help of the Moro National Liberation Front, a rebel group that signed a peace deal with the Philippine government, in Indanan town in Sulu province, police said.
Taken off Borneo Island
An Abu Sayyaf commander, Marjan Sahidjuan, led the abductors who freed the captives in exchange for a ransom, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to media.
Piracy, abductions down
Efforts by the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to beef up security along their massive sea border have considerably eased piracy and kidnappings in the past months primarily by the Abu Sayyaf, which is blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization.
The Philippine police, however, said that the two Indonesian skippers of a Malaysian fishing boat were abducted Tuesday off Semporna Islands in Sabah, Malaysia, and also taken by suspected militants armed with M-16 rifles toward the southern Philippines.