Abu Sayyaf frees woman, but keeps husband

Posted at 03/24/2014 11:08 AM | Updated as of 03/24/2014 1:10 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines – The Abu Sayyaf freed a woman held captive for more than a month but kept her engineer-husband apparently to ensure the payment of ransom, authorities said.

Police said Claire Salinas was released in a village in Patikul, Sulu.

She was recovered by local officials and patrolling government forces. Her husband, Bonifacio, is believed still being held in the jungle of Patikul.

The Salinases, who work for the Jolo Municipal Water District, were seized last February 16 while they were on their way home from Jolo wharf.

Aside from Salinas’ husband, at least six people are still being held in captivity, including two women, Merilyn Suhali and Fatima Hussein, both residents of Jolo, Sulu, and two European bird watchers who were snatched in Tawi-Tawi in February 2012.

Additional combat police forces from the Special Action Force of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police have been deployed to back up Marines and local police units in tracking down the remaining captives.