Sorong, 21 Rajab 1437,30 April 2016 (MINA) – The Indonesian National Defense Force (TNI) has prepared its troops to rescue 14 Indonesians being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf armed group in the Philippines, TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo said.
“I have already stated that the TNI is ready. We will do whatever the president instructs (us to do),” he said here.
The TNI personnel are heading for the Natuna Islands to make preparations for the release of the hostages, Antara was quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
He believed that the 14 Indonesians could be released soon.
The diplomatic channel being pursued by the Indonesian government to lobby the Philippines government has been running well, he said.
“What is important is that they (the Abu Sayyaf group) are Muslim fighters. As the fasting month is drawing nearer, they will hopefully be aware (of the sensitivities involved) and release the hostages,” he said.
A total of 14 Indonesians are being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf armed group. After the earlier 12 hostages, Henry tugboat and Cristi barge were hijacked.
The two ships with 10 Indonesian crew members on board were hijacked while they sailed to Cepu, the Philippines, en route to Tarakan, North Kalimantan, on April 15.
Fortunately, five of them managed to save themselves with the help of the Malaysian security authorities.(T/R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)