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3 hostages escape Muslim militants in Philippines

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In this Friday, April 5, 2019, photo provided by WESMINCOM Armed Forces of the Philippines, Indonesian hostage Heri Ardiansyah sits on a cot inside a Philippine Navy patrol boat following his rescue by Philippine troops in Simisa island, Sulu province in southern Philippines. The Indonesian hostage held by Muslim militants in the southern Philippines swam his way to freedom but another drowned, and a Malaysian was shot in the back while escaping, officials said Saturday. (WESMINCOM Armed Forces of the Philippines via AP)

Three hostages held by Muslim militants in the southern Philippines have made a daring escape that left one drowned, another shot in the back in critical condition and another safe after swimming to his freedom, officials said. The two Indonesians and one Malaysian separately escaped while Philippine marines were attempting to rescue them on Simusa island in southern Sulu province over the last two days, regional military spokesman Lt Col Gerry Besana said Saturday.

The dramatic escapes leave at least three more hostages in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf, which is blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization due to its brutal history of bombings, ransom kidnappings, extortion and beheadings. The remaining captives include a Dutch bird watcher, Elwold Horn, who was kidnapped by the militants in 2012, and two Filipinos. (AP)

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