Philippine President Joseph Estrada vowed Wednesday to pursue the Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebels and said he had ordered the army assault on their island hideout to be stepped up.
"We should crush them and reduce them to ash, this Abu Sayyaf," Estrada said at a news conference with two French journalists who escaped from their captors Tuesday night.
"We cannot stop here, there are still 17 hostages to go," said Estrada, adding he had ordered an intensification of military operations.
"We shall continue to pursue the Abu Sayyaf criminals and secure the safety of the remaining hostages."
Jean-Jacques Le Garrec, 46, and Roland Madura, 49, had managed to give their Muslim rebel captors the slip undercover of darkness during the Philippine military assault on the southern island of Jolo.
They arrived in Manila Wednesday after having been held since July 9 when they were seized by the Abu Sayyaf as they tried to interview hostages snatched in April from the Malaysian dive resort island of Sipadan -- MANILA (AFP)
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