THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Saturday 23 February 2013
Last update 22 February 2013 9:50 pm
MANILA, Philippines: Philippine police say Al-Qaeda-linked militants have released a Filipino hostage but there is no word on the fate of six foreign captives. Sulu provincial police chief Antonio Freyra says grocery store owner Edgar Fabella was released by the Abu Sayyaf group early yesterday 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 km (100 miles) northeast of Jolo.
The militants are still holding a Jordanian journalist, a bird watcher each 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 a rebel group that signed a peace accord with the government battled the militants early this month in a bid to free the hostages.