Philippine militants free German hostages: police official

(Reuters) – Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in the Philippines released two German hostages on Friday, a senior police official said. The Abu Sayyaf group had originally threatened to behead one of the captives earlier in the day.

The hostages, captured by the militants in April from a yacht on the high seas, were being held in the interior of the remote island of Jolo, 600 miles (960 km) south of Manila.

“They are now safe and secure at an army camp,” the police official, who was not authorised to speak to the press, told Reuters. He said soldiers and police officers had fetched the man and woman at a police checkpoint.

The official was confirming a statement by Abu Rami, the spokesman for the small but violent group, to a commercial radio station based in Zamboanga city in the south that the hostages had been freed…

(Photo: Soldiers ride in a truck as they patrol a road in Jolo, Sulu, in southern Philippines September 25, 2014. Reuters)