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Last Abu Sayyaf captive rescued

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Indonesian Muhammad Farhan (back to the camera), the last kidnap victim being held by the Abu Sayyaf Group, undergoes medical check-up and debriefing after his rescue on Jan. 15. — WESTMINCOMA

THE LAST captive of the kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf Group was rescued Wednesday in Sulu, the military reported. Indonesian Muhammad Farhan was rescued in Indanan, Sulu at 6:45 p.m. on January 15 following “intensive combat and intelligence operations,” the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said in a statement.“Troops on the ground received information from the locals of Farhan’s whereabouts that led to the successful rescue,” it said. The Abu Sayyaf, known for its activities, is a local terror group that has ties with the Islamic State. “Our ground troops have succeeded in rescuing all remaining captives of the Abu Sayyaf Group. This proves that our sustained rescue efforts and security operations to run down and degrade ASG have been very effective. Hence, this breakthrough will be sustained to thwart kidnappings, dismantle the terror group to bring about peace and sustainable development in Sulu,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, WestMinCom commander. Earlier that day, Mr. Sobejana reiterated the call for continued multi-sector efforts in ending local terrorism. “Remember this, we soldiers kill terrorists while our civilian partners (such as teachers and religious leaders) kill terrorism,” he said during the traditional New Year’s Call held in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City. “We will counter the narratives of the extremists through good governance and earning the people’s trust and respect,” he said. — MSJ









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