Abu Sayyaf extremists free Norwegian hostage in Philippines

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.