Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf release a Norwegian captive and three Indonesian fishermen they had held in the southern Philippines. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Militants in Philippines free Norwegian, three Indonesians
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
+++ VIDEO AS INCOMING +++
STORY: Islamist militants in the Philippines have freed a Norwegian man who was held for a year in captivity as well as three Indonesian fishermen.
Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad was taken from an upscale resort on Samal island in Davao del Norte along with a Filipina, who has already been freed, and two Canadians, whom the militants later executed.
Sekkingstad was released at a rural town in Patikul on Saturday (September 17) and was under the care of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a Philippine Armed spokesperson said.
“[It’s] wonderful, and I like to extend a thank you to (the) chairman and all his people, to President (Rodrigo) Duterte, and everybody else that worked hard to make my release possible and for saving my life. I’m very grateful for being alive,” Sekkingstad said while being escorted by MNLF chairman Nur Misuari.
Sekkingstad recounted his ordeals under the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf.
“I’ve basically been treated like a slave, like carrying their stuff around and from time to time abused, but other times treated fairly, but always kept in the dark and given misinformation, like, not reliable information, psychological pressure like: ‘You gonna be beheaded [on] such and such a date’, always threat hanging over your head,” he said.
Three Indonesian fishermen identified as Lorens Koten, Teodurus Kofung and Emmanuel were also released by the Abu Sayyaf on Saturday night at an undisclosed place in Sulu.
Abu Sayyaf, based in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines, is known for kidnappings, beheadings and extortion.
While it is widely believed that no captives are released by the Abu Sayyaf without the payment of ransom, the Philippine government said it did not pay the group and was unaware of any payment made by other parties for the release of the victims.