Abu Sayyaf frees hostage

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12:57 PM February 23rd, 2013

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February 23rd, 2013 12:57 PM

Kidnap victim and grocery store owner Edgar Fabella, second right, is escorted by police officers shortly after being released Friday by the Abu Sayyaf near the port of Jolo island, the capital of the province of Sulu. AP

MANILA, Philippines—Police said the Abu Sayyaf has released a Filipino hostage but there is no word on the fate of six foreign captives.

Sulu provincial police Chief Antonio Freyra said grocery store owner Edgar Fabella was released by the al-Qaida-linked extremists early Friday near the port on Jolo island. Fabella was kidnapped last month in southern Zamboanga City.

Fabella said he wasn’t harmed by his captors and denied paying for his freedom.

“I have no money to pay a ransom,” he said before he was taken away by police who will take him back to Zamboanga, about 160 kilometers  northeast of Jolo.

The militants are still holding a Jordanian journalist, bird watchers from Switzerland and Holland, a Malaysian, a Japanese treasure hunter and an ex-soldier from Australia. They released two Filipinos who were working for the Jordanian early this month.

At least 22 combatants were killed when members of the Moro National Liberation Front battled the militants early this month in a bid to free the hostages.

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