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Swiss man held by Philippine Islamist group ‘slit throat’ to escape

The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history

Published: Updated:

A Swiss wildlife photographer who was held captive by Philippine Islamic extremists for more than two years has dramatically escaped to his freedom by slitting his captor’s throat with a machete, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

Lorenzo Vinciguerra, who was seized while sailing in the southern Philippines in 2012, had been held, along with a Dutch national, Ewold Horn by militant Islamist group Aby Sayyaf.

During a clash between insurgents and government troops a remote stretch of jungle, Vinciguerra to grab the machete from his guard.

In the ensuing struggle, Vinciguerra - who was wounded on his left cheek in the attack - managed to prise the machete from the guard’s hand and managed to slit his neck.

He then fled from the group, who had been kept him and Horn confined on the southern island of Jolo, Mindanao.

Colonel Allan Arrojado, commander of the army’s Joint Task Group on the island of Sulu, said that the Swiss man had “dashed while other bandits were shooting at him.”

Vinciguerra also shouted for Horn to run, but he was “very sick and very weak” and unable to escape, according to Arrojado.
Switzerland’s ambassador to the Philippines, Ivo Sieber, confirmed to AFP that Vinciguerra was safely at a military hospital after receiving non-life threatening injuries during his escape.

Vinciguerra and Horn were on an expedition to photograph rare birds on the remote Tawi-Tawi island group in the southern Philippines when they were abducted by unknown gunmen and turned over to the Abu Sayyaf.

At the time of their abductions, Vinciguerra was reported to be aged 47, and Horn was 52.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history, including repeated kidnappings of foreigners who are usually ransomed off for huge amounts.

It is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, which has provided military assistance and training to Filipino troops to hunt down the group.

Many foreign governments warn their citizens against travelling to the Tawi-Tawis and other islands in the southern Philippines that are regarded as strongholds for the Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic militants.

The Abu Sayyaf in October released two Germans they had held captive for six months.

German and Philippine authorities refused to say if a ransom had been paid to secure their release.

But the Abu Sayyaf later posted a video on Facebook showing money which they said was the full 250 million pesos ($5.7 million) they had demanded for the Germans.


(With AFP)