MANILA, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Seventeen hostages, including foreigners, are still being held in southern Philippine province of Sulu by Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, after Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani escaped following an 18-month captivity, a military official said Sunday.
Atyani was abducted in June 2012 by militants affiliated with the Abu Sayyaf group.
Philippine military are trying to rescue the rest 17 hostages, said Jose Johriel Cenabre, commander of the 2nd Marine Brigade.
But Cenabre failed to give a timetable when they can rescue the 17 hostages, including Dutchman Elwold Horn and Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra, who were abducted in February 2012.
"Our operations are intelligence-driven. We are not operating as if we do not value human lives," said Cenabre.
The 380-strong Abu Sayyaf founded in the early 1990s is a Muslim terrorist group operating in the southern Philippines, engaging in kidnappings for ransom, bombings, beheadings, assassinations, and extortion.
Philippine gov't determines to save remaining Abu Sayyaf captives: official
MANILA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government, following a long-captive Jordanian journalist recently escaped from Abu Sayyaf group, assured Saturday that it is determined to free some 17 people believed to be still in the hands of the al-Qaeda-linked group.
Philippine Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) did not stop in pursuing the bandit group which perpetrated a number of high-profile kidnapping cases. Full story