MANILA, Philippines – An Indian man has escaped from al-Qaida-linked militants after nearly 14 months in captivity in the southern Philippines.
Sulu provincial police chief Antonio Freyra says Bijo Kolara Veetil escaped before dawn Friday as his Abu Sayyaf captors were preparing breakfast.
The 37-year-old Veetil later told reporters at a hospital that after he slipped out of the militants' encampment in the hinterlands of Patikul township, a villager brought him to a provincial official, who handed him to police. He was then taken to the hospital.
The Abu Sayyaf is notorious for kidnappings, beheadings and bombings, and is on the U.S. list of terrorist groups.
The group is believed to currently be holding Australian, Malaysian and Japanese nationals in their jungle hideouts in the south.