Europe

Abu Sayyaf extremists free Norwegian hostage in Philippines

  • FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2016 file photo, Jesus Dureza, left, representative of the Philippine government, and Luis Jalandoni, representative of the communist movement National Democratic Front of the Philippines, right, shake hands as Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende, center, applauds after the signing of a joint declaration in which both parties undertake unilateral ceasefires without time constraints. Ransom-seeking Abu Sayyaf extremists on Saturday, Sept. 17, freed a Norwegian man kidnapped a year ago in the southern Philippines along with two Canadians who were later beheaded and a Filipino woman who has been released, officials said. Dureza, who advises Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on peace talks with insurgent groups, said Kjartan Sekkingstad, held in jungle captivity since being kidnapped last September, was to stay overnight at the house of Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari in Sulu and then meet with Duterte on Sunday. (Berit Roald/NTB via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2016 file photo, Jesus Dureza, left, representative of the Philippine government, and Luis Jalandoni, representative of the communist movement National Democratic Front of the Philippines, right, shake hands as Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende, center, applauds after the signing of a joint declaration in which both parties undertake unilateral ceasefires without time constraints. Ransom-seeking Abu Sayyaf extremists on Saturday, Sept. 17, freed a Norwegian man kidnapped a year ago in the southern Philippines along with two Canadians who were later beheaded and a Filipino woman who has been released, officials said. Dureza, who advises Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on peace talks with insurgent groups, said Kjartan Sekkingstad, held in jungle captivity since being kidnapped last September, was to stay overnight at the house of Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari in Sulu and then meet with Duterte on Sunday. (Berit Roald/NTB via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 5, 2013 file photo, Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari gestures during a press conference in suburban Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines. Abu Sayyaf extremists on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, freed a Norwegian man kidnapped a year ago in the southern Philippines along with two Canadians who were later beheaded and a Filipino woman who has been released by the ransom-seeking militants, officials said. Kjartan Sekkingstad was freed in Patikul town in Sulu province and was eventually secured by rebels from the larger Moro National Liberation Front, which has a signed a peace deal with the government and helped negotiate his release, officials said. Sekkingstad, held in jungle captivity since being kidnapped last September, was to stay overnight at the house of Misuari in Sulu and then meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, said Jesus Dureza, who advises the president on peace talks with insurgent groups. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

    FILE - In this March 5, 2013 file photo, Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari gestures during a press conference in suburban Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines. Abu Sayyaf extremists on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, freed a Norwegian man kidnapped a year ago in the southern Philippines along with two Canadians who were later beheaded and a Filipino woman who has been released by the ransom-seeking militants, officials said. Kjartan Sekkingstad was freed in Patikul town in Sulu province and was eventually secured by rebels from the larger Moro National Liberation Front, which has a signed a peace deal with the government and helped negotiate his release, officials said. Sekkingstad, held in jungle captivity since being kidnapped last September, was to stay overnight at the house of Misuari in Sulu and then meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, said Jesus Dureza, who advises the president on peace talks with insurgent groups. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)  (The Associated Press)

Philippine military officials say a Norwegian hostage has been freed by Abu Sayyaf militants who had beheaded two Canadian captives and freed a Filipino woman kidnapped with him in a southern marina last year.

The officials say Kjartan Sekkingstad was freed Saturday afternoon in Sulu province after a year of jungle captivity and was eventually secured by troops and turned over to officials.

The Canadians were beheaded after huge ransom demands were not met and the woman was freed before President Rodrigo Duterte came to power on June 30.

Government forces launched a major offensive against the militants after the beheadings of the Canadians sparked condemnations from then-Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.