Swiss hostage escapes in Sulu PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 December 2014 14:14

A Swiss national, one of three birdwatchers seized by Abu Sayyaf militants in 2012, managed escaped from captivity Friday and killed one of his captors in the process, military officials said Saturday.

Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom), said members of the Joint  Task Force Sulu spotted Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 49, in Patikul in Sulu.

A military  report cited initial information showing the Swiss national, who was abducted in Tawi-Tawi on Feb. 1, 2012, escaped from his captors who were under pressure from intensified law enforcement operations.

Colonel Allan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group in Sulu, meanwhile said Vinciguerra, a wildlife photographer, escaped after fatally hacking the neck of Juhurim Hussien, one of the bandit group’s subleaders.

Vinciguerra was, however, shot and wounded by other Abu Sayyaf members while he was escaping, Arrojado added.

Vinciguerra is currently in “stable” condition after being airlifted to the Camp Bautista Station hospital for treatment, according to WesMinCom spokesperson Captain Maria Rowena Muyuela.

The Swiss national was seized two years ago along with two other wildlife photographers: Dutch national Elwold Horn and Filipino Ivan Sarenas. The three were on a birdwatching expedition when they were kidnapped.

Last year, an Abu Sayyaf member supposedly involved in the birdwatchers’ abduction, identified as Haik Asgali, was arrested by authorities in Jolo,

President Benigno Aquino III earlier ordered relentless military operations against the Abu Sayyaf group, which has alleged  links to global militant Islamist group al-Qaeda and the jihadist militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).