Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Abu Sayyaf released Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad on Saturday, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan Jr. confirmed.
Sekkingstad was freed at 4 p.m. Saturday, Tan said via a text message to CNN Philippines.
In a statement, Tan said the release of Sikkengstad was an offshoot of the ongoing military operations to sustain pressure against the Abu Sayyaf Group and the assistance of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
“Simultaneous land, air, naval, and police operations complemented each other putting pressure on the ASG,” Tan said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said in a statement that the Abu Sayyaf Group was constrained to release Sekkingstad as holding him hostage slows down their movement.
Sekkingstad was supposed to be presented to President Duterte at the Davao Airport on Saturday night, but it will not push through due to bad weather.
Sekkingstad was abducted from a resort on Samal Island in September 2015, along with Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, and Filipina Tess Flor.
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