Two Indonesians Taken Hostage by Abu Sayyaf

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, Director for Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities at the Foreign Ministry, confirmed that two Indonesian fishermen have been abducted on Saturday, November 19, 2016. The two fishermen were working as crews on board a Malaysian-flagged fishing boat.

    "They were abducted by an armed group believed to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf group in southern Philippine," Iqbal told Tempo via text message on Monday, November 21, 2016.

    Iqbal explained that the kidnapping took place on Lahad Datu waters in Sabah, Malaysia, at 7:20 AM local time. The Foreign Ministry were made aware of the incident by the Shipowners’ Association an hour after the incident.

    The two Indonesian are a skipper from South Sulawesi Saparudin Bin Koni (43) and deputy skipper Sawal Bin Maryam (36), also from South Sulawesi. "Having received the info, the Foreign Minister instructed the Indonesian Consulate in Tawau to investigate the incident," Iqbal said.

    Iqbal said that Indonesian Citizen Protection Team of Indonesian Consulate in Tawau visited Kunak and Lahad Datu on Sunday morning to meet with 11 crew members released by the captors. They also met families of hostages and Malaysian law enforcement agencies.

    The Foreign Minister had also contacted the families of the two Indonesian hostages in South Sulawesi. "Based on latest information, the two Indonesians had been taken to Sulu. Indonesian Foreign Minister has contacted her Malaysian and Philippine counterparts to ask for help from the government of the two countries," Iqbal said