KOTA KINABALU: Two Malaysian sailors, who were among five people kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants in July last year, were reportedly rescued by Philippine security forces early today.
According to Philippines media reports, those rescued were identified as Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdul Rahim Sumas, 62.
Both men are from Tawau, Sabah.
Philippine armed forces spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo was quoted as saying the victims were rescued about 2am.
Tayudin and Abdul Rahim were rescued in an operation in the marshland village of Carudong in Sulu on the Philippines' southwestern tip after villagers had tipped off security forces on the presence of some 30 Abu Sayyaf fighters and at least five hostages.
“The bandits fled when the soldiers arrived, leaving behind the hostages (Fandy and Abdul Rahim.
“The Malaysians will be brought to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista on Jolo Island for debriefing,” said Arevalo.
Meanwhile, a source from Bukit Aman said police had received the information, and are in the midst of verifying the report.
However, Eastern Sabah Security Command Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid when contacted said he was unaware of the report.
“So far, I have not been informed on this matter and Esscom has yet to receive such information,” he said.
On July 18 last year, five Malaysians, Abdul Rahim Summas, 62 (from Tawau), Tayudin Anjut, 45 (Tawau), Fandy Bakran, 26 (Tawau), Mohd Jumadil Rahim, 23 (Tawau), and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32 (Pahang), went missing after the tugboat Serudong 3 was found abandoned at Den Haven off Lahad Datu waters.
The sailors had on July 17 boarded the tugboat in Sandakan and were heading to Semporna.