On Wednesday, May 9, a Philippine military spokesperson announced that a hostage held by Abu Sayyaf had been rescued during a military operation in Sulu province. According to local sources, Philippine marines carried out the raid on Tuesday, May 8, in the Panglima Estino area of the Sulu archipelago.
Kidnapping is common in the southern Philippines. Abu Sayyaf is known for kidnapping people for ransom in southwest Mindanao (especially in Zamboanga province) and in the Sulu Archipelago (Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Basilan provinces). Sailors and foreigners are regularly abducted in the Sulu Sea.
As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to southwest Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago due to ongoing terrorist activity and regular clashes between the military and insurgent groups. Authorities advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao and to the south of Cebu province, up to and including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian, due to the threat of terrorism.