Government troops captured five suspected Abu Sayyaf gang members believed to be holding three hostages in a raid on one of their jungle hideouts in Basilan, the Army said on Wednesday.
Troops raided an encampment in Upper Cabengbeng barangay in Sumisip town at dawn on Wednesday and caught the bandits in their sleep, said Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the special military task force. About 10 of them managed to escape, however.
The raid followed a tip from a suspect arrested last week who said three Filipino hostages were being held by the bandits.
However, none of the three hostages were found during the operation.
The three hostages being held for ransom include a child and two businessmen separately kidnapped in recent months. A fourth captive, engineer Virgilio Fernandez, managed to escape from his captors last week, and authorities have handed him over to his family.
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