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Kidnappers Release American, Australian Hostages

March 26, 1992

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) _ Bandits have released two Americans and two Australians held captive for more than a week, a Muslim rebel spokesman said Thursday.

The former hostages, including a 5-year-old girl, were freed late Wednesday evening on Jolo Island, about 600 miles south of Manila, said Ustadz Zain Jali, spokesman of the Moro National Liberation Front. They were seized March 17.

Jali said Carol Allen, 37, of Kittanning, Pa.; Tracy Rectanus of Richmond, Va.; Australian Lynette Cook and her daughter, Cheree, were handed over to the Sulu Gov. Tupay Loong.

Jali said he was informed of the release by the front’s political officer in Sulu province, Abu Amri Taddik, but was given no other details.

The front helped arrange the release of the captives, but there was no indication they were involved in the kidnapping.

One American remains in the hands of Filipino kidnappers. California businessman Arvey Drown was seized in October 1990 by Communist guerrillas in the northern Philippines.

On March 18, Michael Barnes, 41, vice president of Philippine Geothermal Inc., was rescued by police after being held by kidnappers in the Manila area for two months.

Fourteen suspects were killed in a series of raids to free the Long Beach, Calif., native.