Philippine Rebels Release Hostage
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.″