Govt troops to withdraw to save ICRC hostage

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines— Government troops will withdraw from a jungle area on the southern island of Jolo as demanded by Islamic militants who have threatened to behead one of three Red Cross hostages, an official said Saturday.

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the withdrawal should be completed within 36 hours and should open a humanitarian corridor for the Abu Sayyaf to free one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hostages.

“I think we are more than bending over backwards in order that the kidnappers will not feel threatened,” Puno told reporters in the southern city of Zamboanga.

He said the pull-out would begin later Saturday when Jolo Governor Abdusakur Tan returns to the island, where Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, Swiss national Andreas Notter, and Italian Eugenio Vagni were seized on January 15.

Agence France-Presse

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Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm  Comments Off on Govt troops to withdraw to save ICRC hostage  
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