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Militants free hostage in southern Philippines

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 4:57 a.m. HST, Jul 22, 2011


MANILA, Philippines >> Police said al-Qaida-linked militants have freed a businessman they had kidnapped nearly three months ago on a restive southern Philippine island.

Police regional operations chief Felicisimo Khu says restaurant owner Nelson Lim was unharmed when he was handed over late Thursday by his abductors to Vice Mayor Edsir Tan of the Sulu provincial capital of Jolo.

Khu said Friday that investigators were looking into reports that Lim’s family had paid ransom to the Abu Sayyaf group. Lim owns one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Jolo.

U.S. special forces are training Filipino soldiers battling the Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for ransom kidnappings, beheadings and bombings. The group is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.


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