Military rescues 2 Indonesian kidnap victims in Sulu

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 22) — The military has rescued on Sunday two Indonesian kidnap victims from the hands of Abu Sayyaf at Panamao, Sulu.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said that two rescued Indonesian nationals were identified as Maharudin lunani and Samion Bin Maniue.

Meanwhile, the rescue operations are still ongoing for the other Indonesian victim Muhammad Farhan.

"Na-cordone na natin yung area, so we are very optimistic na makuha pa natin itong isang remaining," said Sobejana in a separate message to reporters.

[Translation: We have already cordoned off the area, so we are very optimistic that we will be able to rescue the other victim remaining.]

The Wesmincom chief said that the three Indonesian nationals were kidnapped on Sept. 23 at Lahad Datu, Sabah.

Further, Sobejana added that one Abu Sayyaf group member was killed during the rescue operations. Meanwhile, one soldier was killed and another one was wounded.

Last month, AFP Spokesperson BGen. Edgard Arevalo said that they are monitoring seven individuals still possibly held by the Abu Sayyaf.

Arevalo said the possible kidnap victims are three Indonesians, three Filipinos, and one Vietnamese national.

Moreover, the military is aiming to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf group and two of its top leaders soon.

"Ang ginagawa natin is to meet the target of the President to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf. So we are looking [forward] to the neutralization of the two key leaders, Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron," said Sobejana.

[Translation: We are aiming to meet the target of the President to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf. So we are looking forward to the neutralization of the two key leaders, Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron.]

Hatib Sawadjaan was the alleged mastermind in the bombing of a Catholic cathedral in Jolo early this year. Meanwhile, Radulan Sahiron is one of the most of wanted terrorists listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

READ: AFP: Abu Sayyaf may still have seven more kidnap victims