- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Two Indonesians who escaped from Abu Sayyaf militants after 10 months of captivity were recovered by Philippine troops Thursday, officials said.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said soldiers intercepted the two men who were on board a vehicle in Indanan town in southern Sulu province.

There was no mention of any injuries but they were brought to hospital for medical examination and will also undergo debriefing by the military.

Boat crewmen Sarapuddin Koni and Sawal Maryam were abducted Nov. 19 in waters off Sabah, Malaysia.

The circumstances of their escape were not immediately clear but Sobejana, a military commander in the province, said just before their recovery, troops clashed with 20 Abu Sayyaf gunmen in Talipao, another town of Sulu, leaving 5 militants dead and five soldiers wounded.

The Abu Sayyaf is considered a terrorist organization that has carried out ransom kidnappings, beheadings, bombings and other violence.

Abu Sayyaf gunmen are still holding 17 hostages in Sulu province, 13 of them foreigners - a Dutch, seven Vietnamese and 5 Indonesians, Sobejana said.

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