2 German hostages freed after payment of ransom  

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/18 October) – Two German hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf since April were freed Friday night in Patikul, Sulu allegedly upon payment of ransom.

Abu Rami, who claimed to be the spokesperson of the Sulu-Based Abu Sayyaf Group, said over Radio Mindanao Network-Zamboanga that they released Dr. Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71 and Henrike Dielen, 55, at around 8:45 p.m. Friday.

The Abu Sayyaf earlier demanded P250 million ransom in exchange for the release of the two German nationals and threatened to execute one of them if ransom would not be paid by p.m. Friday.

“Walang kulang, walang labis” (Not less, not more), Rami said over the radio when asked if ransom was paid.

The freed hostages were taken to this city by Navy boat and taken to a hospital for medical check-up.

They were flown from this city aboard a private plane from the Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB) and arrived at Villamor Air Base at 6:45 a.m.

Both the military and police here did not issue any statement surrounding the release of the hostages.

“The victims requested not to be interviewed by the media” a military official said Saturday in a text message to reporters here.

In Manila, AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Domingo Tutaan said the German Embassy has taken custody of the two freed hostages. (MindaNews)