Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government of Indonesia has secured the release of two crew men from the TB Charles ship, who had been held hostage by militant group Abu Sayyaf in the Southern Philippines since June 20, 2016.

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi remarked in a statement through the Director of the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities (PWNI-BHI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, that the two Indonesian men were released on December 12, 2016.

The two crewmen were identified as Mohammad Nazir, 62, of South Sulawesi and Robin Peter, 32, of East Kalimantan.

Minister Retno in her statement from New Delhi, India, confirmed that the liberation was the result of total diplomacy involving various elements of the government over the past six months.

The freed hostages have been flown to the nearby Zamboanga City and will be handed over to the Indonesian ambassador to the Philippines, Johny Lumintang, by the West Mindanao military.

The two were the last remaining kidnap victims among the seven crewmen of T/B Charles 00, who were abducted last June 22 off Simisa Island in Sulu.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to crush the Abu Sayyaf militants, who are notorious for criminal and terrorist activities in the southern Philippines, including bombings, murder, and kidnapping for ransom.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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