Philippine official: Abu Sayyaf frees 4 Malaysian captives

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A Philippine official says Abu Sayyaf militants have freed four Malaysian sailors more than two months after they were abducted off Borneo island.

A Philippine military spokesman in Zamboanga, Maj. Filemon Tan, said the four crew members were freed early Wednesday in Sulu and immediately taken by speedboat to Sandakan in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo.

Tan said he couldn't confirm whether ransom was paid. Media reports have said the Abu Sayyaf demanded 18 million ringgit ($4.5 million) for the release of the four men, who were kidnapped April 1.

Sabah police declined to provide details.

Also in April, Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded a Canadian who was kidnapped last year while on vacation on a Philippine island. Three others abducted at the same time are still being held.