Kidnapped Swiss bird watcher escapes from Abu Sayyaf
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2014 - 12:19pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Government troops rescued one of two European bird watchers held captive by the Abu Sayyaf for more than two years, during an encounter on Saturday dawn in the mountain of Patikul, Sulu.

Swiss national Lorenzo Vinceguerra was rescued after he escaped from his captors when the troops under the Joint Task Force Sulu attacked the Abu Sayyaf group about 5:20 a.m., Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela, spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said.

“Vinceguerra took advantage from escaping his captors while the troops were intensifying the law enforcement operation,” Muyuela said quoting the reports of Col. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS).

“However, one of the Abu Sayyaf members shot and wounded Vinceguerra as he was escaping,” Muyuela added.

Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, commander of the Naval Force Western Mindanao and current chief of the Task Force Zambasulta, said troops intercepted and rescued Vinceguerra. 

Yoma said the victim was immediately brought to the military trauma hospital in Camp Teodulfo Bautista for treatment of his injuries.

The victim was described to be in stable condition, but the military did not specifically say where Vinceguerra was hit.

Vinceguerra, 49, was abducted along with his companion, Dutch Elwold Horn and Filipino guide Ivan Sarenas last Feb. 1, 2012 when they were in the island town of Panglima Sugala off Tawi-Tawi province. 

Sarenas managed to escape while they were being led to the mainland of Tawi-Tawi.  

Negotiations were initially made and went on and off as the Abu Sayyaf reportedly demanded a hefty but unspecified amount of ransom.

Muyuela said there was no immediate word yet on the fate of Horn while Vinceguerra was recuperating at the military trauma hospital in Sulu. 

The military official said pursuit continue for the recovery of the remaining captives. Muyuela said more than 10 hostages were still reported to be under the captivity of the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu. 

ABU SAYYAF ALAN ARROJADO CAMP TEODULFO BAUTISTA DUTCH ELWOLD HORN AND FILIPINO IVAN SARENAS JOINT TASK FORCE SULU LORENZO VINCEGUERRA MARIA ROWENA MUYUELA MUYUELA NAVAL FORCE WESTERN MINDANAO VINCEGUERRA
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