"I never had the sensation that they wanted to kill me, nor did I ever receive a death threat or violence of any kind,'' Bossi told the Missionary International Service News Agency following his release.

 

He said that his kidnappers had told him they were members of the Abu Sayyaf – a group which has been linked to al-Qaeda and accused of being behind a string of bombings and kidnappings.

 

Bossi was snatched in the southern province of Zamboanga Sibugay on June 10 while on his way to celebrate Mass.

 

Earlier this month Philippine troops searching for Bossi were ambushed by what they said was a group of Muslim fighters.

 

In the ensuing gunfight 14 marines were killed, including 10 who were found to have been beheaded.

 

The Philippine military has said it believed a rogue faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a Muslim group talking peace with the government, was responsible for Bossi's kidnapping.