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Militants Release Red Cross Hostage in Philippines


Philippine officials said Islamic militants have freed one of three Red Cross workers held captive for more than two months on the southern island of Jolo.

A Philippine military commander, Colonel Eugene Clemen, said Mary Jean Lacaba looked tired when authorities found her Thursday on Jolo Island. Officials said the Filipino woman is receiving medical treatment.

Militants from the extremist group Abu-Sayyaf captured Lacaba and the two other relief workers in mid-January after the three visited a prison on Jolo.

The kidnappers are still holding the other two Red Cross hostages, Eugenio Vani of Italy and Andreas Notters of Switzerland.

Earlier this week, the militants threatened to execute one of the hostages unless the government withdrew its forces from Jolo Island. Officials ignored the demand.

Abu-Sayyaf said it is fighting for an Islamic state in the southern Philippines.

Since its inception in the 1990s, the Muslim extremist group has been involved in many kidnappings and bombings, and other attacks in the region.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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