Kidnapped Swiss-Filipino rescued in S. Philippine city

11:12, June 16, 2010      

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Philippine security forces rescued early Wednesday morning a Swiss-Filipino businessman abducted by suspected terrorist Abu Sayyaf group more than two months ago at his private resort in Zamboanga city.

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, chair of the crisis management committee, said no firefight took place prior to the victim's rescue at around 3 a.m at the village of Labuan in Zamboanga city.

"Mr. Reith was apparently being moved here and there was an opportunity to rescue him..There was no firefight," said Lobregat, adding that follow-up operations are being undertaken by forces of Task Force Charlie composed of police and military elements.

Lobregat said he met with 72-year-old Reith after his rescue and the victim was in good spirits.

Reith was snatched on April 4 by alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels clad in fatigue uniforms from the victim's private resort at a remote area in Zamboanga City.

After his abduction, there were reports that Reith may have been brought by his captors either in Basilan or Zamboaga del Norte. Authorities have expressed concerns over Reith's condition, noting that he had underwent multiple heart bypass, diabetic and has vertigo, among others.

Lobregat said "Reith is going to talk about the details but not now."

Rear Admiral Alex Pama, commander of the military's Task Force Trilium, said the captors of Reith panicked when they saw the police and military elements, forcing them to leave their captive.

Pama said Reith had been already reunited with his family."He appears okay and he is now with his family," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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