[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Women abducted from Malaysian resort released

Chinese tourist and Filipino worker kidnapped two months ago by suspected Abu Sayyaf fighters freed in Philippines.

Last updated: 31 May 2014 05:05
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Gao Huayun is expected to be returned to China, her home country, as soon as possible [File: Reuters]

A Chinese tourist and a Filipino worker have been rescued nearly two months after they were abducted from a resort off Borneo island, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said.

Najib credited their release to cooperation between Malaysian and Philippine security forces, saying no ransom was paid.

Malaysian officials earlier said the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of $11.4m for the Chinese hostage.

Gunmen, believed to be Philippine Abu Sayyaf fighters, kidnapped the 28-year-old Shanghai woman and the 40-year-old Filipino woman from the Singamata Reef Resort in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah on April 2.

They were believed to have been taken to the southern Philippines.

"No ransom paid to secure their release. Success due to cooperation of Malaysia and Philippines security forces. I thank all involved," Najib said on Twitter.

He said authorities were working to return Gao Huayun, the Chinese woman, to her home country as soon as possible.

Negotiations

Two Philippine security officials who have been monitoring kidnappings in the south confirmed the two women had been released by Abu Sayyaf fighters in Parang township in the southern Philippine province of Sulu after a series of negotiations.

The two were served lunch by local police and then escorted out of Sulu on board a speedboat back to Sabah, said the officials, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

Philippine military and police believe an Abu Sayyaf faction led by commander Alhabsi Misaya was involved in the abduction of the women, who were held in a jungle camp in Sulu's Indanan township, near Parang. Misaya's group has been blamed for other kidnappings in the poor, predominantly Muslim province.

There has been a spate of kidnappings in recent months off Sabah, a popular tourist destination and dive spot that is just a short boat ride from the southern Philippines.

295

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.