Two kidnapped Christian preachers found in Jolo

Sun Star (Philippines), Apr. 19, 2003

ZAMBOANGA — Two of four Filipina Christian preachers abducted by the Muslim Abu Sayyaf group last year were found wandering on the southern island of Jolo on Saturday, the military said.

Emily Mantic and Cleofe Mantulo apparently eluded their Abu Sayyaf captors during a military operation, Brigadier General Romeo Tolentino said in his report to Armed Forces Chief General Narciso Abaya.

“This is part of our ongoing operation. We wil not stop the rescue until all the hostages are freed,” Abaya told AFP.

Mantic and Montulo were among a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses preachers seized by the Abu Sayyaf on Jolo in August last year. Two male companions were beheaded.

Two other women remain in captivity on Jolo, the military said.

The Abu Sayyaf is a small band of Islamic militants the US and Philippine governments have branded as terrorists.

The rebels have launched daring abductions in recent years and are wanted for the murder of two US hostages seized from a Philippine beach resort in 2001.

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