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Philippine peace negotiator says Abu Sayyaf abducted 30 hostages this year

Published on Apr 20, 2014 11:17 AM

The Philippine government's top peace negotiator on Sunday asked the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to help negotiate the release of 30 hostages taken this year alone by the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group.

Ms Miriam Colonel-Ferrer, who led talks on a historic pact that ended a decades-old insurgency led by the MILF in Mindanao island, made this appeal a day after the Abu Sayyaf, an affiliate of the Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist organisations, released an employee of a utility firm in Sulu province in Mindanao after holding him for 59 days.

Ms Ferrer said the Abu Sayyaf has abducted 30 hostages in 23 cases recorded so far this year in Basilan, Sulu, Zamboanga and Lanao provinces, all in Mindanao.

"Let us join hands in redeeming them from a most terrible fate of being held hostage," she said.

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