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Philippine senior official says ready to talk with Abu Sayyaf for release of Norwegian hostage
Last Updated: 2016-07-04 07:33 | Xinhua
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A senior Philippine government official said Sunday that he is ready to talk with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)for the safe release of a Norwegian hostage in southern province of Sulu.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, in a statement, said that he got word from "someone" in southern city of Zamboanga that certain Abu Rami allegedly from ASG wanted to talk to him regarding Kjartan Sekkingstad, the remaining hostage from Samal Island in southern province of Davao del Norte.

"I told the person that I was ready and willing to talk with anyone for the release of hostages and save live provided that it would not be about ransom," he said.

Dureza said he gave a "secure phone number" for the Abu Sayyaf to contact him.

Sekkingstad is one of the four hostages that the ASG seized from a posh resort in Samal Island in September last year. Two other hostages, both Canadians, were beheaded after government refused to pay ransom. The other female Filipino victim was freed recently.

The ASG reportedly threatened to kill Sekkingstad if they hear nothing from the administration of new President Rodrigo Duterte.

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