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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

An overwhelming military presence in the rugged hilly jungle around a Jolo village forced notorious Abu Sayyaf gunmen to abandon last three Malaysian hostages.

Militants dump hostages to escape army

KOTA KINABALU: An overwhelming military presence in the rugged hilly jungle around a Jolo village forced notorious Abu Sayyaf gunmen to abandon the last three of their five Malaysian hostages.

Intelligence sources believe that the gunmen, led by Abu Rami @Muammar Askali decided to leave the three sailors when the military started closing in on them.
The group has been terrorising the southern Philippines with murders, kidnaps and beheadings including that of Malaysian hostage Bernard Then, 39, in November.
The source said it became apparent to the gunmen that they were making no headway in getting ransom money for the Malaysians whom they have held since abducting them from their tugboat off Dent Haven waters in Lahad Datu on July 18, last year.
The three Fandy Bakran, 27, Mohd Jumadil Rahim 24, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 33, looked frightened and exhausted but were otherwise all right when the soldiers found them in Panglima Estimo in Jolo at about 11.30pm on Sunday.
“We believe the hostages had become a liability and were too heavy a baggage for them as they were fleeing the military.
“Having got nothing from their families, they just decided to leave them,” the source said.
The gunmen had initially deman­ded 60mil pesos (RM5.3mil) but reduced it to 30mil pesos (RM2.65mil) for the release of the five Malaysian hostages. They were ready to go down further but there was no progress as the families could not raise that amount, the source said.
However, other Jolo based sources claimed that Moro National Liberation Front and Sulu Governor Sakur Tan were involved in the negotiations for the release of the three whose freedom came three days after two other sailors Abd Rahim Summas, 62, and Tayudin Anjut, 42, were rescued on Thursday in Jolo.
The intelligence sources said the large military presence in the area was in line with orders of Presi­dent Rodrigo Duterte who wanted some to 30 foreign and Filipino hostages freed by eliminating the Abu Sayyaf.
In Zamboanga City, Philippines military Western Mindanao Com­mand said in a statement that the rescue of the three was due to unrelenting military operations as well as information from the two earlier released victims.
The three other sailors have been taken to the military hospital in Jolo and would be debriefed. They were to be taken to Zamboanga City before being flown back to Kuala Lumpur via Manila.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/28/militants-dump-hostages-to-escape-army/#dOSUaKWTiPLZy6ZH.99



Sailors worked like slaves with threat of beheading hanging over their heads

 
KUALA LUMPUR: Five Malaysian men held captive by Abu Sayyaf were fearing for their lives throughout their eight-month ordeal in the jungles of the southern Philippines as the Abu Sayyaf militants threatened to behead or shoot them.
Tayudin Anjut, one of two men rescued first, said they lived in the jungle and were moved from one place to another at night.
“Sometimes they wore face masks. We were not blindfolded or tied though,” said the frail-looking man after being rescued and brought to the Prime Minister’s residence yesterday.
There were no physical beatings but Tayudin and Abd Rahim Sum­mas, the other rescued sailor, suffered body aches. They had to be wheeled into the residence as they were reunited with their family.
Tayudin, said the captives were forced to work for the captors.
“We were treated like slaves. Disuruh bikin itu, disuruh bikin ini (we were asked to do this and that),” he told the media.
According to Tayudin, they had little to eat and drink.
image: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/28/we-feared-for-our-lives-sailors-worked-like-slaves-with-threat-of-beheading-hanging-over-their-heads/~/media/7f4195aae6ca4ff08e33edc27ceb6e88.ashx?h=575&w=400

“We were ordered to cook for them, and they only gave us leftovers to eat ... if there was nothing left over, then there would be no food for us,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama
“Sometimes we would have rice. Without food and medicine, my eyesight is failing and I can barely see now,” he said.
Tayudin said the kidnappers allowed them to contact their families several times, but each time, they also threatened to kill them.
Both Tayudin and Abdul Rahim did not know they were being rescued.
“There were no parting words between us and the other three captives because we did not realise we were being released,” he said.
The 45-year-old, who looks older than his age, was able to speak slowly despite his fatigue.
Abd Rahim, 62, however, could barely speak and choked on his words when he tried to answer ques­tions posed by reporters.
“Thank you to the Government for helping us return to our home land,” the older man said in barely a whisper.
Abd Rahim, who also suffers from high blood pressure, appeared weak and was bent over in the wheelchair as he was brought in.
His teary-eyed daughter Rasni­yati, 40, hugged him and said she was glad that her father had been returned safely to the family.
She said Abd Rahim had contacted the family several times during his capture.
“Once he told me to tell my mother that his body ached all over,” she said.
The two men will be treated at the Selayang hospital. They were among five tugboat crewmen abducted in waters off Dent Haven in Lahad Datu district last July 18.
Tayudin said that last Thursday, he and Abd Rahim were taken by villagers in a boat before being handed over to the Philippine authorities.
Tayudin was welcomed back by his wife Gustia Sultan, 47, and their children, Nurerin Farisha, 13, and Mohd Fahirin, five, while Abdul Rahim was met by his daughter Rasniyati, 40, and several other family members, who all could not hold back their tears when they met.
At 9.30am yesterday, ESSCom commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid confirmed that the three other kidnapped men ­– Fandy Bakran, 27, Mohd Jumadil Rahim, 24, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 33, – were rescued on Sunday night.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/28/we-feared-for-our-lives-sailors-worked-like-slaves-with-threat-of-beheading-hanging-over-their-heads/#HCh7ruSDTlaGp4J2.99


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