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Indonesian kidnap victim found dead in Sulu —WestMinCom

Military personnel on Tuesday found a body in Patikul, Sulu which was identified to be one of the five Indonesians abducted in January,  the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) announced Wednesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Ruben Guinolbay, the Commanding Officer of the 45th Infantry Battalion, said the troops were pursuing a local terrorist group when they recovered the body along Barangay Maligay.

“Based on facial recognition, our intelligence officer identified the kidnap victim as one of the five Indonesian kidnap victims; however, name is being withheld for further confirmation,” Brigadier General William Gonzales, Joint Task Force Sulu Commander, said.

"His remains will be transported to Zamboanga City for further confirmation", Gonzales added.

Citing reports on the ground, Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan, meanwhile, said that the victim had the opportunity to escape.

“While running away, he was fired upon by his abductors. His body was found 300 meters from the encounter site… We are yet to reconfirm before we reveal the full identity of the victim,” Vinluan said.

In January, suspected members of Mindanao bandit group Abu Sayyaf abducted five Indonesians near Sabah in the Philippines' southernmost border. Three of them were later freed.—Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News