Chinese hostage rescued in S Philippines in critical condition

11:53, February 27, 2010      

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Philippine police said Saturday one of the two rescued Chinese, who were held hostage in restive southern Philippines where Al-Qaeda affiliated militants are active, is in critical condition.

Basilan Provincial Police Director Tony Mendoza told reporters kidnapped victim Oscar Lu (Lu Zishun), 51, was confined at a private hospital in the southern city of Zamboanga due to health problem. He did not elaborate.

LU and 27-year-old Michael Tan (Chen Bozhong) were rescued in a small village of Basilan Province at around 8 p.m. Friday.

The two Chinese nationals were seized last November by armed men who stormed the plywood factory they worked for in Maluso town of Basilan. A Filipino hostage, kidnapped along side with the two Chinese, was beheaded one month later.

Kidnappers, whose identities remain unknown, have been demanding tens of millions of pesos from the plywood owner and the victims' families. It is not immediately known whether any ransom was paid for the victims' release.

Basilan is a known bailiwick of 380-strong Abu Sayyaf group, founded in the early 1990s by Islamic extremists. It is notorious for kidnappings, bombings and even beheadings in southern Philippines over the past decade.

Source: Xinhua
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