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Military halts rescue operations for kidnapped aid workers

ICC Note:

Rescue operations for two Christian aid workers who are still being held hostage after being kidnapped in the Philippines on Monday have been halted. The military believe this will give way to peaceful negotiation for their release.

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9/17/08 Philippines (GMANews) The military on Wednesday suspended the rescue operations on the two aid workers being held by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan province to pave way for the negotiation for their release.
“We have temporarily stopped the (rescue) operations to give way to peaceful negotiations for the release of the victims,” said Marine commander Col. Domingo Valdez.

The victims, Esperancita Hupida and Millet Mendoza, were part of a group abducted Monday from a village in Tipo-Tipo town. Five other aid workers from the Christian Children’s Fund had either escaped or freed by the abductors.

The military tagged the Abu Sayyaf group under Puruji Indama and Nur Hassan Jamiri as behind Monday kidnappings.
The Abu Sayyaf had kidnapped nine people in Basilan in recent months. The group reportedly also sent letters, signed by Indama and Jamiri, to Christians living on the island threatening them with harm if they do not embrace Islam.

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