Two German hostages have been freed by Islamist militants in the Philippines.
Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen were captured by the Abu Sayyaf group in April. Local residents on the southern island of Jolo found them walking near a town late on Friday and brought the couple to a police checkpoint. They are now at the German embassy.
“They were probably a bit weak, but I think they are now more overcome by freedom after they were brought to safe hands, and we did give them medical attention last night and again this morning prior to their flight in Manila.” The rebels, linked to Al-Qaeda, had demanded 5.6 million U.S. dollars in ransom.
The group says they’ve received the amount in full, but neither the Philippine nor the German government has confirmed this. The release came after Germany sent a special envoy to negotiate a deal with the rebels.