Indonesian held hostage in South Philippines set free

Indonesian held hostage in South Philippines set free

Director for Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities at the Foreign Ministry Lalu Muhammad Iqbal. (ANTARA/Yashinta Difa)

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Samsul Saguni, an Indonesian held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group in South Philippines, was set free on Tuesday (Jan 15) at 3:35 p.m. local time, a Foreign Ministry`s official stated.

"Samsul Saguni is now at the Westmincom Military Base in Jolo, South Philippines, for a medical checkup before being flown to Zamboanga City," Director for Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities at the Foreign Ministry Lalu Muhammad Iqbal noted in a short text message received in Jakarta on Wednesday.

After being handed over to the Indonesian Embassy in Manila, the embassy will arrange for Samsul`s repatriation to Indonesia, Iqbal remarked.

Saguni and another Indonesian, Usman Yunus, were abducted while sailing in their fishing boat in the waters near Pulau Gaya off Semporna in the Malaysian state of Sabah on November 11, 2018. Yunus was set free on December 7, 2018.

A video of Samsul crying for help appeared widely on social media in Malaysia earlier this year and has become the center of attention.

Iqbal said the abductors frequently sent such videos to the relatives of hostages to apply psychological pressure to make they soon pay ransom for their release.

Reporting by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani, Suharto

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