Government Continues Efforts to Rescue Indonesians Sailors Taken Hostages

Director of Indonesian Citizens Protection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lalu Muhammad Iqbal.


Jakarta, MINA – The Indonesian Government continued making every effort to rescue several Indonesian taken hostages by militant groups in the Philippines, Antara News quoted an official as saying here on Thursday.

Director of Indonesian Citizens Protection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said here on Thursday that seven Indonesians have been taken hostages in three different locations by three different groups.

Two out of the seven hostages were rescued on Thursday morning from Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines.

As confirmed by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during her visit in Singapore earlier this afternoon, the two rescued Indonesians are Saparudin bin Koni and Syawal bin Maryam, who are both residents of Majene, West Sulawesi Province.

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Saparudin and Syawal were crew members of a Malaysian fishing ship Madai II Kunak. They were abducted by Abu Sayyaf militant group on Nov 19 last year in Batu Lahat waters of Sabah, Malaysia.

Currently, the two have been shifted to the joint task force headquarters in Sulu for health checkup.

On Friday (Sept 8), the two Indonesians would be transferred to the Army Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The Indonesian Consulate General in Davao City would meet the two Indonesians in Samboanga. They could then be returned home to Indonesia.

Therefore, five Indonesian remain as hostages of two other different groups, Iqbal said.

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Iqbal revealed that two Indonesians, namely La Utu bin La Raali and La Hadi bin La Edi, both residents of Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, were kidnapped on November 5, 2016 in Kretam waters, Kinabatangan, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.

Meanwhile, three other Indonesians, namely Hamdan bin Saleng from Selayar Islands, South Sulawesi; Sudarling Samansung, also from Selayar Islands; and Subandi bin Sattu from Bulukumba, South Sulawesi, were taken hostages on January 18 2017 in Taganak waters of Sabah, Malaysia.

“The government continued making every effort to rescue them,” Iqbal said.

The militants reportedly held more than a dozen hostages as captives in Jolo and the nearby province of Basilan.  (T/RS5/RS1)

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Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)