Australia welcomes proof that citizen held in the Philippines is alive
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.