Military rescues abducted British national, Filipino wife from Abu Sayyaf

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The Hyrons couple poses with members of the 11th Infantry Division on Monday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — The British national and his Filipino wife who were abducted in a resort in Zamboanga del Sur were rescued on Monday after days of intense firefight with local terror group Abu Sayyaf, military confirmed.

Wesmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said they have rescued Allan and Wilma Hyrons at 7:45 a.m. in Parang, Sulu. The couple was abducted on October 4 at the Hyrons' Beach Resort, which they owned, in Takuran town.

Related: At least 6 armed men behind abduction of British national, wife in Zamboanga del Sur

He said the rescue came after "three continuous incidents of clashes with the suspected kidnappers."

The 2nd Special Forces Battalion under the 11th Infantry Division said the terror group was overwhelmed by military forces.

"Our troops were able to close in on the Abu Sayyaf Group and engaged them in a firefight. Overwhelmed by our forces they withdrew from the site, allowing our soldiers to rescue the couple," said Major General Corleto Vinluan said.

The military attributed their success to continuing combat operations in Sulu over the weekend. Six Abu Sayyaf members, including two sub-leaders, were killed by the military on November 23 and 24. One of the two sub-leaders killed was Sibih Pisih, a subgroup leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group under Radullan Sahiron and Roger Sajih. The body of Talha Jumsah or “Abu Talha," the ISIS-trained bomb expert who served as the international terrorist group's liaison to the Abu Sayyaf, was also recovered in Sulu on Saturday.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab welcomed the rescue of the Hyrons.

"We worked closely with the Government of the Philippines on Alan and Wilma’s case over the last two months. I am very grateful for their tremendous efforts. We are in particular grateful to their Armed Forces for their courage throughout a difficult operation which resulted in Alan and Wilma’s release," Raab said in a statement.

Sobejana warned that with the intensified attacks on the Abu Sayyaf Group, it's possible that the terror group may retaliate. He advised the public to remain vigilant.

"We do not discount the possibility na they will retaliate by targeting soft targets kaya ang mga civilians naman ay naabiso natin na maging more vigilant this time... Anybody can be their targets with this setback na natamo nila," he said.