Monday, April 20, 2009

Second Red Cross Hostage Free

Good news from the Philippines: Andreas Notter, the Swiss Red Cross worker kidnapped more than three months ago along with two colleagues, has been freed. Via CNN:
(CNN) -- One of two aid workers still held by militants in the Philippines has been freed, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Saturday.

ICRC officials spoke briefly by telephone to Andreas Notter and confirmed he is free, an ICRC spokeswoman in Geneva, Switzerland, said, but no other details were immediately available.

A doctor was with Notter as a precaution, Nelson said. He remained in the Philippines but his exact location was unclear, she said.

"Considering what he's been through over the past 93 days, he seems to be doing quite well but is obviously very concerned for (fellow hostage) Eugenio Vagni, whom he spent the past 93 days with," Nelson said.

The Philippine News Agency said Notter's captors released him Saturday morning.

The agency cited a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, who himself cited "sketchy reports" that Notter was found by security forces cordoning off his kidnappers.

Notter was among three Red Cross workers kidnapped January 15 on the island of Sulu, in the far southwestern part of the Philippines, the ICRC has said.

The kidnappers released one of the hostages, Mary Jean Lacaba, earlier this month. The third staff member, Eugenio Vagni, remains in captivity.

Prayers of thanks for this deliverance! Please continue to pray for the safe release of Eugenio Vagni and for the safety of aid workers in the Philippines and elsewhere.

One Red Cross Hostage Freed in Philippines
Philippine Military Prepares to Rescue Hostages
Philippine Rebels Threaten to Behead Red Cross Hostages
Kidnapped Red Cross Workers Survive Gun Battle in Philippines

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