Philippines: 1 hostage escapes, another drowns and 3rd shot

The island where an Indonesian hostage held by Muslim militants was rescued by Philippine troops on Friday April 5 in Sulu province in southern Philippines

The island where an Indonesian hostage held by Muslim militants was rescued by Philippine troops on Friday April 5 in Sulu province in southern Philippines

But three more hostages are still being held by Sayyaf, which is blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization because of its brutal history of bombings, ransom kidnappings, extortion and beheadings, said a local military spokesman. The remaining captives include the Dutch bird watcher Elwold Horn, who was kidnapped by the militants in 2012, and two Filipinos.

Mr Jari and two Indonesian fishermen - Mr Hari Ardiansya, 19, and Mr Hariadin, 45 - were working for a Sandakan-based fishing company when they were kidnapped by gunmen in the Pegasus Reef around Kinabatangan-Lahad Datu in Sabah on Dec 5 previous year.

The Malaysian hostage was escaping from his Abu Sayyaf captors and had been shot in the head and chest.

One Indonesian fisherman, Heri Ardiansyah, was rescued as the militants tried to flee, but another - Hariadin - drowned in the escape bid.

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The marines seized four assault rifles, a grenade launcher and various ammunition from the captors of the Indonesians, military officials said.

Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo Jr, Joint Task Force Sulu Commander, said the latest operation is the result of good intelligence provided by localcommunities.

The three hostages were kidnapped off Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo island in December and taken by speedboat to Sulu, the predominantly Muslim and poverty-wracked province where a few hundred Abu Sayyaf have survived in the jungles despite frequent military offensives.

Three Philippine soldiers and four pro-Islamic State militants were killed, and a total of 22 wounded during a brief, but intense, firefight on a remote southern island on Friday, the military said. The military believes Sawadjaan is also the mastermind in the deadly twin blasts at a Catholic cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, which left 23 people dead and about 100 wounded on January 27.

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