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Vietnam thanks WestMinCom, Navy for rescued Vietnamese

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The government of Vietnam on Wednesday welcomed the rescue of a Vietnamese hostage by the military forces from the Daesh-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the island province of Basilan.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines, Ly Quoc Tuan personally conveyed his gratitude to the government on behalf of his country on the successful rescue operation of Do Trung Hieu on Aug. 20, 2017.

He met with top navy officials in Manila to thank them for their effort in rescuing his countryman unharmed and hoping that the remaining kidnap victims will be saved from the hands of their captors.

Vietnamese Assistant Defense and Armed Forces Attache (DAFA) to the Philippines Senior Captain Pham Than Tra and Vietnamese Embassy Third Secretary Ngo Tuan Anh also arrived here in Zamboanga City on Wednesday to express their gratitude for the rescue of Hieu.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief of Western Mindanao Command, and Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Command, officially turned over the rescued Vietnamese kidnap victim to DAFA.

Held captive by the Abu Sayyaf for nearly 11 months, Hiue was rescued in Mataja Island by the elements of the Joint Task Force Basilan, through the Naval Task Group Basilan, Naval Task Force 61, and Navy Intelligence Service Group-Western Mindanao, few weeks after his two fellow seamen were found beheaded in Tumahubong, Sumisip.

Hieu is one of the six Vietnamese crewmen of M/V Royal 16 cargo vessel abducted by bandits while sailing at the seawaters near Sibago Island, Basilan in November 11, 2016.

In February, six other Vietnamese sailors were also abducted in Sulu by a separate Abu Sayyaf faction.

In a statement, Medina assured that the Command will continue to conduct its intensive operations to locate and rescue the remaining kidnap victims and eventually be turned over to the government of Vietnam.

Aside from the remaining Vietnamese hostages, there are still other foreigners including a Dutchman in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Earlier, the military's Western Mindanao Command said troops are still working on the rescue of 18 more kidnap victims, 14 foreigners and 4 Filipinos.

The Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged to Daesh international terror group, is notorious for bombings, kidnapping, and beheading kidnap victims if ransom is not paid for their release. Hader Glang




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