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Philippine Abu Sayyaf militants free Norwegian hostage


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With all respect, Tomaw, that does not make sense. Abu Sayyaf had never before been active so far east, when the incident happened in Samal. It was a surprise to everyone that they attacked so far from the Muslim areas. It could just as well have happened in Negros or some other area previously considered safe. Also, there have been kidnappings of tourists as far north as Palawan.

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I admit I don't know the areas Abu Sayyaf operates that we'll or anything south of Cebu. Tullioz certainly knows more than me. Common sense though should tell a person to stay out of areas that look like easy targets. I plan on only staying in the Cebu area or to the north of Cebu in well populated areas. Even that is questionable. Look what happened in Davao. It's in Mindanao but in a populated city market. Edited by tomaw
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I'm glad he's okay but not so happy about the ransom being paid.

The only way I see to stop the kidnappings, ransom requests and beheadings seems really obvious to me but too many people just don't get it. Just stop going to remote resorts on Mindanao where the Abu Sayyaf captures these people.

You do realize that Abu Sayyaf have also kidnapped people on Palawan which is not in Mindanao and that people get kidnapped in Manila and all over the Philippines, not to mention foreigners who get killed all over the Philippines, maybe none of us should venture outside of our own countries if we go by your line of thinking, my thoughts are kill all the kidnappers and never pay ransom to any of them and that includes if should I ever get kidnapped.

 

Tomaw you might wish to read this CRIMES INVOLVING FOREIGNERS IN THE PHILIPPINES then you might never wish to travel to the whole Philippines. Nobody knows what the future holds for any of us, my opinion is just enjoy life and travel wherever we want to go. 

 

Cash, not caliphate, drives kidnappers in Philippines Westerners are the most valuable

 

Alleged mission - kidnappings: Sayyaf bandits in Dumaguete?

1996: Abu Sayyaf abducted American missionary Greg Williams in Cebu. He was tortured and deprived of food and water; he was also forced to watch the beheading of a friend. 

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woodchopper

Norwegian says his Philippine kidnapping was 'devastating'

 Sunday, September 18, 2016
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PHILIPPINES. Released Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad carries a backpack as he boards a plane to take him to Davao City for an audience with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday, September 18, 2016 on Jolo island, Sulu. (AP)

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INDANAN, Sulu -- A Norwegian man freed by terrorists after a year of jungle captivity in southern Philippines described the ordeal Sunday as "devastating," carrying a backpack with a bullet hole as a reminder of a near-death experience that included the beheadings of the two Canadians kidnapped with him.

Kjartan Sekkingstad was freed by his Abu Sayyaf captors on Saturday, September 17, to rebels from the larger Moro National Liberation Front, which has signed a peace deal with the Philippine government and helped negotiate his release.

On Sunday, he was handed over to Philippine authorities, along with three Indonesian fishermen freed separately by the Abu Sayyaf.

Aside from the horror of constantly being warned he would be the next to be beheaded by the brutal extremists, Sekkingstad said he survived more than a dozen clashes between Philippine forces and his captors in the lush jungles of Sulu province.

In one intense battle, in which the forces opened fire from assault helicopters and from the ground, he said he felt a thud in his back and thought he was hit by gunfire. After the fighting eased, he discovered that he wasn't hit, and that his green, Army-style backpack had been pierced by the gunfire instead.

Sekkingstad was carrying the damaged backpack when he walked to freedom Saturday somewhere in the thick jungle off Sulu's mountainous Patikul town.

On Sunday, the heavily bearded Sekkingstad, clad in a rebel camouflage uniform and muddy combat boots, was asked how he would describe his horrific experience.

"Devastating, devastating," he said, still clutching the backpack.

Philippine presidential adviser Jesus Dureza, who received Sekkingstad and the three freed Indonesians from Moro National Liberation Front rebel chief Nur Misuari in Misuari's rural stronghold near Sulu's Indanan town, accompanied the Norwegian on a flight to the southern city of Davao, where the ex-hostage was to meet President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sekkingstad was kidnapped from a yacht club he helped managed on southern Samal Island on September 21, 2015, along with Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall and Hall's Filipino girlfriend, Marites Flor, sparking a massive land and sea search by Philippine forces.

The Abu Sayyaf demanded a huge ransom for the release of the foreigners, and released videosin which they threatened the captives in a jungle clearing where they displayed Islamic State group-style black flags.

Ridsdel was beheaded in April and Hall was decapitated in June after ransom deadlines lapsed. When Flor was freed in June, she recounted in horror how the bandits rejoiced while watching the beheadings.

Sekkingstad said he and his fellow captives were forced to carry the bandits' belongings and were kept in the dark on what was happening around them. At one point, he said, their heavily armed captors numbered more than 300.

"We were treated like slaves," he said.

After the bandits decapitated Ridsdel, Sekkingstad was threatened by the Abu Sayyaf, who repeatedly told him, "You're next."

When the negotiations for his release began in recent months, Sekkingstad said the rebels began treating him better.

It was not immediately clear whether Sekkingstad had been ransomed off. Duterte suggested at a news conference last month that P50 million ($1 million) had been paid to the bandits, but that they continued to hold on to him. The military said Saturday that relentless assaults forced the extremists to release the hostage.

Heavy rains prevented Misuari's rebel group from immediately turning over Sekkingstad to Dureza on Saturday. The freed hostage stayed overnight in Misuari's rebel camp, where he was given clothes with the rebel group's insignia.

In Norway, Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed that Sekkingstad had been "brought to safety" after his release.

Solberg said the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, police and diplomats "have done a great deal of work" to have Sekkingstad released, and thanked Duterte and Dureza.

In a statement posted on the Norwegian government website, Solberg said Norway supports the Philippines "in their fight against terrorism and for peaceful outcome in the south" of the country. Solberg told national news agency NTB that "Norwegian officials had not participated in any payment of ransom or made any concessions in the matter."

Philippine forces launched a major offensive against the Abu Sayyaf after the beheadings of the Canadians sparked condemnations from then-Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called on other nations not to pay ransoms if their citizens are abducted to discourage the bandits from carrying out more kidnappings.

The three Indonesian fishermen freed by the Abu Sayyaf were kidnapped in July off Lahad Datu district in Malaysia's Sabah state, according to regional Philippine military spokesman Major Filemon Tan. Their release came as Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was visiting the Philippines to meet with his Philippine counterpart and top military commanders.

Five Indonesians, five Malaysians and a Dutch bird watcher, along with five Filipinos, remain in Abu Sayyaf custody, the Philippine military said.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the US and the Philippines for deadly bombings, kidnappings and beheadings. Without any known foreign funding, the extremists have relied on ransom kidnappings, extortion and other acts of banditry, and some commanders have pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group partly in the hope of obtaining funds. (AP)

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rainymike

Am glad he is freed now.

 

Ransoms are something that most governments try to avoid. But families and friends cannot help but try if they have the means.

 

Only viable solution is to try to eliminate the criminal gangs that do this. Kidnapping is not limited to Islam extremists in the Phils.

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Are we going to notice that it was said a month ago they had been paid 50M, the AS made a point of saying they'd been paid 30M and wanted more, and it took a month and more talks after the initial payment for his release? 

Edited by spydoo
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