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Philippine Rebels Release Hostage

August 28, 2000

JOLO, Philippines (AP) _ Muslim rebels freed a South African man on Monday, leaving six foreigners and 12 Filipinos still in guerrilla hands on a remote Philippine island.

``I’m over the moon,″ Callie Strydom said. ``It’s a different world out here.″

Strydom’s wife, Monique, was freed Sunday by the Abu Sayyaf rebels, along with three French women and a German man, after Libya agreed to pay $1 million for each, negotiators said.

The hostages were to be flown later Monday to Tripoli to meet with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Libya has long-standing ties to Muslim rebels in the mostly Catholic Philippines.

Libyan Ambassador Saleem Adam dismissed allegations that his country was trying to improve its international image by bankrolling the ransom. ``This is a humanitarian mission, he said. ``It has no other motivation.″