Two Germans kidnapped and held for six months in the southern Philippines were released on Friday by a militant group just hours after it had threatened to behead one of them if no ransom payment was made, the Philippine defense chief said.
Islamic State`s main recruiters in Malaysia, who funded trips to Syria for converts and used Facebook to attract young supporters, were among the 14 suspected militants arrested earlier this week, Malaysian authorities said late on Wednesday.
The Philippines said Thursday it would not negotiate with a militant group threatening to behead one of two German hostages, saying it was a "criminal" gang seeking to cash in on its self-proclaimed allegiance to Islamic State jihadists.
Security forces have captured four members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines, including one accused of the 2002 kidnapping of Christian missionaries who were later beheaded, police said today.
Police commandos stormed a southern Philippine hideout of suspected Abu Sayyaf extremists blamed for kidnappings and extortion, triggering a firefight that led to the killing of two militants and the capture of six others, officials said.