May 11, 2016 / 9:51 AM / 4 years ago

Four Indonesians held hostage in the Philippines freed

Indonesia President Joko Widodo (2nd L) stands beside Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (2nd R), Indonesian Military Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo (R), and State Secretary Minister Pratikno (L) as he talks to reporters after Indonesian hostages were released by Islamist militants in the southern Philippines, in Bogor Palace, Indonesia, May 1, 2016. ANTARA FOTO/Setpres/Rusman/via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo said on Wednesday four Indonesian sailors who had been held hostage in the southern Philippines have been released.

“The release happened because of coordination between the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines,” Widodo told reporters at the presidential palace in central Jakarta, adding that the four sailors were in good health.

Ten other Indonesian hostages held by groups with suspected links to militant network Abu Sayyaf were released on May 1, following a month-long ordeal during which a kidnapped Canadian was beheaded after a ransom deadline passed.

Abu Sayyaf, a formidable and brutal militia known for amassing tens of millions of dollars from the ransom business, is still holding four Malaysian seamen and Japanese, Netherlands, Canadian, Norwegian and Philippine citizens.

Reporting by Jakarta bureau; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor

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