I have just learnt from TV but a direct report on that matter is not yet available. I will seek official information on it
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Notorious Abu Sayyaf group is demanding 30 million Peso (Rp8.4 billion) as a ransom for the release of five Indonesians, Indonesia's top security minister Mahfud MD has revealed quoting a media report. "I have just learnt from TV but a direct report on that matter is not yet available. I will seek official information on it," he said at a meeting on standardizing the competence of Islamic propagators at the Indonesian Ulema Council here Thursday.

Demand for ransom has been repeated by members of the Abu Sayyaf group whenever they hold foreign hostages though the requested amounts are always different, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs said.

Eight Indonesians working for a fishing vessel had been abducted by several armed criminals believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf group in Tambisan waters of Tungku Lahad Dato, Malaysian State of Sabah, on January 16, 2020.

Three of the eight hostages, identified as Abdul Latif (37), Daeng Akbal (20), and Pian bin Janiru (36), were freed along with the wooden fishing boat while five others remain under the custody of this South Philippines-based terrorist group.

These are Arsyad bin Dahlan (42), Arizal Kastamiran (29), La Baa (32), Riswanto bin Hayono (27), and Edi bin Lawalopo (53).

These Indonesian citizens were abducted not far from the spot where three Indonesians were kidnapped in the Tambisan waters, Tungku Lahad Datu, Malaysia, on September 23, 2019, according to the Tambisan police.

This armed terrorist group has repeatedly held Indonesian hostages over these past four years. From 2016 to November 2018 alone, 34 Indonesian citizens had been taken hostage in the southern Philippines.

The Indonesian government has been attempting to seek the release of Indonesian citizens who are still being held hostage.

Regarding the repeated abductions of Indonesians in the Malaysian waters, the Indonesian Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu and Indonesian Consulate General Tawau continued to urge Indonesian citizens who work as fishermen in the Sabah region not to go to the sea until there is a guarantee of security from Malaysian authorities. (INE)

Related news: Indonesian consulate in Kota Kinabalu warns fishermen over abduction
Related news: Two Indonesians held hostage by Abu Sayyaf return home
Related news: Indonesia, neighbors work closely to release abducted citizens

Translator: Zuhdiar L, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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