Philippine security forces on Thursday (March 23) rescued two Malaysians taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf extremist group eight months ago.
The two Fandy Bakran, 26 and Abdul Rahim Sumas, 62, were rescued during a Philippines marine operation at Jolo's coastal province of Kalingalan Caluang on the way Pata Island at about 2am Thursday.
Both victims were immediately brought by the troops to the Sulu military station hospital for medical check-up and interview.
They were receiving treatment at a military hospital in the area for ailments that Galvez did not specify.
"The rescued kidnap victims are weak and in a sickly state when they were rescued by our troops".
Earlier, the Marines received information that ASG sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya with about 30 fully armed followers and two Malaysian hostages were hiding at the mangrove area of Barangay Karudong in Kalinggalang Caluang, Sulu.
The two were recovered in an operation by Marine troops in the marshland village of Carudong in Sulu, on the Philippines' southwestern tip at around 2 a.m., said military spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo.
Their recovery followed a Philippine military operation against the kidnappers on a nearby island early last month that left 8 gunmen dead, Galvez said.
The victims were among the five remaining crew members of Tugboat Serudung seized by the Abu Sayyaf bandits led by sub-leaders Jaber Susukan and Sibbih Pissih, under Yasser Ygasan's group last July 19, 2016 at the seawater of Dent Haven, Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah.
The small but violent Abu Sayyaf group, based on the south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines, is known for kidnappings, beheadings, bombings and extortion. The ransom was believed to have been reduced to 30mil Pesos (about RM3mil).
The hostages still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf include 11 Vietnamese, seven Indonesians, three Malaysians, one Dutch, one Korean, and eight Filipinos.