Swiss jungle hostage escapes captors

Philippine soldiers during a separate military offensive against Abu Sayyaf on Jolo in November Keystone

This content was published on December 6, 2014 - 10:09 and agencies

A Swiss hostage has escaped from Abu Sayyaf extremists, ending almost three years of jungle captivity in the southern Philippines. 

He took his chance during a clash between troops and rebels on Saturday, Colonel Allan Arrojado, commander of the army’s Joint Task Group on the island of Sulu, told reporters by mobile phone text message. 

Philippine army scout rangers later found him and brought him to safety. The military said five militants were killed and seven wounded in the firefight. 

In Bern, the Swiss foreign ministry confirmed the liberation and said the man would be brought back to Switzerland as soon as possible. 

Rebels of the Abu Sayyaf group, said to be linked to al-Qaeda, kidnapped the 49-year-old man in February 2012. The Swiss man had been held with a Dutch national whose fate is unclear.

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