Australian hostage freed in Philippine

Man kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf group for ransom has been freed after 15 months

Australian hostage freed in Philippine

World Bulletin/News Desk

Abu Sayyaf, a militant group in the southern Philippines, has released an Australian hostage near a coastal town where they kidnapped him for ransom 15 months ago.

Australian Warren Rodwell, a former soldier, emerged on Saturday, at Pagadian city police station on Mindanao island, shortly after his pre-dawn release.

Rodwell "looked okay, just tired. But he looked like he lost a lot of weight," said local police chief Julius Munez.

In Washington where he is on a visit, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed the news, saying the release was a joint effort by authorities in both countries, and that the focus now was on Rodwell's speedy recovery, Al Jazeera reported.

Philippine security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media, said a ransom was paid for Rodwell's release, as was usually the case with other hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf over the last two decades. Militants posing as policemen broke into his house and abducted him, and had initially demanded $2 million.

The Philippine military said Rodwell had been released at Pagadian, a port city about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Ipil town where he had been living with his Filipina wife before he was kidnapped on December 5, 2011.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Mart 2013, 14:06