Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad was released by Abu Sayyaf Group on Jolo Island on Saturday, reportedly after a ransom payment of 30 million pesos ($638,000 USD). Sekkingstad was abducted last September from a luxury resort on Samal Island, alongside Filipina Tess and two Canadians, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall. Ridsdel and Hall were killed due to non-payment of the ransom.

From the BBC

Philippine Abu Sayyaf militants free Norwegian hostage

Mr Sekkingstad was freed in the town of Patikul on Jolo island. He was handed over to rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front group, which has signed a peace deal with the government and helped negotiate the release.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had suggested in August that a large ransom had already been paid but that the jihadists were still holding Mr Sekkingstad.

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From Al Jazeera

Abu Sayyaf frees Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad

Kjartan Sekkingstad, 56, was handed over on Jolo island, about 1,000km south of Manila on Saturday, after Abu Sayyaf received $638,000 in ransom for his release, said Abu Ramie, a spokesman for the armed group.

Sekkingstad was abducted from a high-end tourist resort in September 2015 alongside a Filipina woman, who has already been freed, and two Canadian men.

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From the National

Philippine militants release Norwegian captive after a year

Two of the other captives, Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, were beheaded in April and June respectively following the lapse of ransom deadlines. The fourth — Hal’s partner, Filipina Marites Flor -was freed in June. 

Mr Sekkingstad was freed in Patikul town in Sulu province and was due to spend his first night at the home of Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, which helped negotiate his release after signing a peace deal with the government. He will then be flown to Davao, the city where Mr Duterte was mayor before becoming president.

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