Vietnamese hostage found dead, 3 others rescued from Abu Sayyaf, says military
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has rescued three Vietnamese hostages and recovered the body of another one who died while in the hands of the local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in southern province of Tawi-Tawi.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Captain Jo-ann Petinglay said on Saturday that at around 7:45 am on Friday, government troops launched a special operation near Kang Tipayan Island in Languyan, Tawi-Tawi, resulting to the rescue of the Vietnamese seamen.
The rescued hostages were identified as Buy Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc, Nguten Quang Huy, and Nguyin Huu Trong.
However, Petinglay said Huu Trong was found dead when he was recovered by the troops due to illness during his captivity.
Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander Rear Admiral Rene Medina said the hostages were transported to Zamboanga City for proper disposition and medical treatment.
Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brigadier General Custodio Parcon, Jr. said the operation conducted by the Marines and Navy led to the rescue of the Vietnamese hostages.
"Through the operations conducted by our Marines and Navy, we successfully recovered the Vietnamese hostages off Tawi-Tawi waters, and we mean to intensify our offensives to pressure the bandits to yield,” he said.
The rescued hostages were all crew members of Marine Vessel Giang Hai 5 abducted by the Abu Sayaff group last February 25, 2017 in the waters of Pearl Bank, Pangutaran, Sulu.
Of the 17 crew members on board the said vessel, two were killed while attempting to escape. Ten were rescued, while the group of Xuan Vien was forcibly taken and transported to mainland Sulu.
To date, seven foreigners and nine Filipinos have remained in the hands of the the Abu Sayaff in the hinterlands of Sulu. Ella Dionisio/DMS