officials say a Swiss Red Cross worker kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf
militants in the Philippines is now free after three months in
Philippine officials say police
found Andreas Notter Saturday morning walking in the town of Indanan.
He was immediately brought to the residence of the provincial governor.
is one of three Red Cross workers kidnapped by the extremist Abu Sayyaf
in January. The Abu Sayyaf released Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba earlier
this month, but is still holding Italian Eugenio Vagni in the jungles
of the southern Philippines.
Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, said he wants to see an end to the hostage crisis.
are relieved that we have one of our people back but we are still very,
very concerned about Eugenio because he is obviously in pain. He is
sick," he said.
Gordon has spoken with the hostages and the Abu
Sayyaf kidnappers on several occasions and made an emotional plea on
national television last month for their release when the Abu Sayyaf
threatened to kill one of the hostages if a military cordon in the area
President Gloria Arroyo ordered the military to remain
in place, while negotiations by local officials and Muslim clerics with
the militants continued.
Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo is the spokesman of the Philippine Army.
of this welcome development is the pressure that security forces, the
military, have been exerting since day one of this incident," he said.
Abu Sayyaf says it is fighting for a separate homeland in the southern
Philippines for the country's Muslim minority. But it is known more for
its brutal killings and kidnappings. Authorities say the group has ties
with the regional terrorist network, Jemaah Islamiyah. Last week,
suspected Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded two residents in the nearby
island of Basilan.