Asia

Philippine Abu Sayyaf militants free 2 Indonesians

Abu Sayyaf gunmen have freed two Indonesian tugboat crewmen kidnapped by the ransom-seeking militants six months ago and held in the jungles of the southern Philippines.

Regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said Monday the militants released Mohammad Nazer and Robin Peter to a rebel commander belonging to the Moro National Liberation Front near Sulu province's Indanan town amid pressure from military assaults.

The Moro rebel front is engaged in peace talks with the government and often acts as an intermediary for the release of Abu Sayyaf hostages. It was not immediately clear if a ransom was paid.

Government forces have been waging a monthslong offensive against the militants. Troops clashed with about 150 Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Saturday in fighting that killed 10 militants and three soldiers.