A Philippine military commander says a Swiss hostage has escaped from Abu Sayyaf extremists after more than two years of jungle captivity in the restive southern region.

Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero says Lorenzo Vinciguerra fought with his in the jungles off Patikul town in Sulu province and was wounded either by gunfire or hacking as he dashed to freedom early Saturday. The hostage was later found by army troops and taken to a hospital.

Vinciguerra was one of two European bird watchers who were seized by the militants in nearby Tawi Tawi province more than two years ago.