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Australia welcomes proof that citizen held in the Philippines is alive

Published on Dec 27, 2012 1:03 PM
This still image from a video on Dec 27, 2012 courtesy of the SITE Monitoring Service, shows Australian man Warren Rodwell at an unknown location in the Philippines. He was kidnapped by suspected Muslim extremists in the Philippines more than a year ago. In the video, Rodwell says the date is Dec 16, 2012 and holds a newspaper from the previous day. He says he was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Muslim extremists 54 weeks ago. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed news on Thursday that Australian man Warren Rodwell was alive after being held hostage for more than a year in the Philippines, but said his prolonged captivity was a "major concern".

Mr Rodwell, a 54-year-old former soldier from Sydney, was seized by suspected Muslim extremists from his home in the southern Philippine town of Ipil on Dec 5 last year.

In a video which the SITE monitoring group said had been posted on a YouTube channel linked to Abu Sayyaf, Mr Rodwell confirmed he was captured by the militant group, which was founded in the late 1990s with seed money from terrorist network Al-Qaeda.

Mr Rodwell said the date was Dec 16, 2012 and held up a newspaper from the previous day. He said he was kidnapped 54 weeks ago.

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