Indonesian fisherman escapes from Abu Sayyaf captors
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2018 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — An Indonesian fisherman was rescued after he escaped from his Abu Sayyaf captors in Sulu on Wednesday.

Usman Yusuf, who was identified in earlier reports as Usman Yunus, 35, was rescued by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 (MBLT) of the Philippine Marine Ready Force Sulu at around 7:30 a.m in Barangay Bual, Luuk town, according to Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

Besana said Yusuf escaped from his captors in the vicinity of Barangay Bud Bawis in Panamao town.

He said the victim ran and hid in a housing community in Sitio Tubig Bual, Barangay Bual.

Village officials and residents alerted the MBLT, which picked up Yusuf from the barangay and brought him to Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo.

Yusuf and his compatriot Samsul Saguni, 40, were seized from their fishing boat by gunmen on board a speedboat off the waters of Palau Bodgaya, Sempornah on Sept. 10. 

Malaysian authorities reported that the victims were brought to Sulu, but the local military did not confirm the report in the absence of verified information from the ground. 

The two captives were also not included in the list of hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf bandit group. 

The rescue of Yusuf brought to six – three foreigners and three Filpinos – the number of hostages being held by the bandit group, authorities said.

Besana said Yusuf would be brought to the Westmincom for medical check-up and debriefing today, before he would be turned over to Indonesian officials.

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