The Kidnapping


23 April 

Ten foreign tourists and 11 resort workers are seized at the diving resort on the Malaysian island of Sipadan. They include nine Malaysians, three Germans, two French, two South Africans, two Finns, two Filipinos and one Lebanese.

25 April 

The Abu Sayyaf group announces it is holding the hostages on the island of Jolo, 960km (600 miles) south of the capital Manila.

2 May 

Fighting erupts between government forces and rebels close to where the hostages are being held. Hostages movec a few days later.

7 May 

Troops fire mortar bombs at the rebels' jungle hideout and the government says it will consider a raid.

9 May 

European and Libyan envoys join the negotiating team.

27 May 

Abu Sayyaf issue their demands, including formation of a independent Muslim state.

9 June 

The Philippines Government says it will not stop foreign governments from paying ransoms after the kidnappers demand $1m for each captive.

12 June 

Government suspends negotiations, saying a cooling-off period is required.

24 June 

A Malaysian hostage is freed amid reports that $3m is paid in ransom for all nine Malaysians.

1 July 

Filipino evangelists who visited Abu Sayyaf's jungle camp to pray are taken hostage.

2 July 

A German reporter covering the incident is seized.

9 July 

A French reporter and two camera crew are abducted.

14 July 

A Malaysian hostage is freed

17 July 

A German suffering from high blood pressure is freed.

21 July 

Four Malaysian hostages are freed.

24 July 

Two Filipino journalists are abducted but released five days later.

27 July 

The German reporter and one evangelist are freed.

1 August 

Three Filipino construction workers are abducted by Abu Sayyaf.

5 August 

Lebanese newspapers report that Libya has offered to pay $25m for the release of most of the hostages.

7 August 

The government confirms that $5.5m in ransom has been paid.

14 August 

Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi sends his personal jet to the Philippines as part of arrangements to repatriate some of the hostages. But negotiations break down, with Abu Sayyaf accusing the government of planning a military strike against their camp.

16 August 

A Filipina resort worker is freed.

18 August 

Three Malaysian hostages are released.

23 August 

Two Filipina women are abducted as brides for Abu Sayyaf members.

27 August 

Two French hostages, one Lebanese, one South African and one German are released.

28 August 

Another South African joins the group released the previous day and all fly to Libya before returning home. An American is taken captive, while a Filipina schoolgirl is seized in Jolo.

29 August 

Abu Sayyaf threaten to kill the American hostage unless three Islamic militants being held in US jails, including the convicted World Trade Centre bomber, Ramzi Youssef, are freed.

3 September 

Filipino construction workers rescued by police.

8 September 

Negotiators prepare release of six remaining foreign captives but talks break down over ransom payments.

9 September 

Four Western hostages leave the jungle camp aboard a government helicopter.


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