Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 7:45 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 7:45 a.m.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine military officials say two Lebanese-born Filipino sisters have either escaped or were freed by Abu Sayyaf extremists after eight months of jungle captivity.
Marine brigade commander Col. Jose Cenabre says marines found Nadjoua and Linda Bansil on Thursday in Buhanginan village in the mountainous town of Patikul on Jolo island.
Police say Abu Sayyaf gunmen abducted the sisters last June in Patikul, where they traveled to do a video documentary on the predominantly Muslim area's poor coffee farmers.
Cenabre said the Abu Sayyaf had demanded a ransom for the sisters' release but it was not clear if any money changed hands. He said the kidnappers may have been pressured to release the captives because of constant military assaults and search operations.