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Filipino hostages released by separatist rebels

Monday, 04 Feb, 2013 - 01:10

Feb. 4 - Two Filipino camera crewmen speak out about their eight months as hostages with the radical Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyef. Jessica Gray reports.

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Two Filipino hostages taste freedom for the first time in eight months. On Saturday, the television crew members were released by Philippine Islamist separatists Abu Sayyaf and taken to hospital on Mindanao island. Military in charge of the operation said they had little information on why the hostages were released. (SOUNDBITE) (English/Filipino) COMMANDER OF 2ND MARINE BRIGADE IN SULU, COLONELORLANDO DE LEON, SAYING: "We do not have any knowledge if there is ransom that has been paid. We do not also want to speculate if there is." Two days later, the hostages spoke out about their kidnapping, saying the rebels had treated both well, although they did not know why they had been captured. Despite this, neither ever forgot they were in mortal danger. (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) FREED HOSTAGE, TV CAMERAMAN RAMELITO VELA, SAYING: "We couldn't wait to go home to our families. We could have died at any time during that ordeal. We could have died any time." The men were captured on Jolo Island in the Philippine southwest during a shoot with a Jordanian journalist, who is still in captivity. Authorities say Abu Sayyaf was likely behind a ferry bombing that killed more than 100 people in 2004.

Filipino hostages released by separatist rebels

Monday, 04 Feb, 2013 - 01:10

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