Soldiers free Abu Sayyaf-held master

One of two seafarers taken captive on Thursday by Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf was freed on Saturday as local soldiers bored in on a stronghold of the separatist group.

The troops recovered Aurelio Agacac, the ship’s captain, in the southern Philippine province of Basilan.

The kidnappers took Agacac and his companion Laurencio Tiro captive from a tugboat off Basilan on Thursday.

Abu Sayyaf is believed to be still holding around 27 seafarers in the south of the country, an area that has become one of the global hotspots for piracy.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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