‘For 8 months, they threatened to shoot or behead us’ : Abu Sayyaf Hostages
Tayudin Anjut and Abdul Rahim Summas say their health has suffered badly since they were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants last July.
PETALING JAYA: Two Malaysians who were rescued after an eight-month ordeal with the Abu Sayyaf terror group say they endured constant threats of being shot or beheaded.
Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdul Rahim Summas, 62, added that they were kept in the forest and made to do hard labour, The Star reported today.
The two, who were left wheelchair-bound and visually impaired after the nightmare, told the daily they were never beaten but that the lack of proper nutrition and medical attention caused their health to deteriorate.
“The lack of nutrients, sunlight and medical attention has led to my eyesight turning bad and I can barely see now,” Tayudin was quoted as saying.
“We didn’t always get food to eat. Sometimes it was rice and sometimes it was bread.”
Rahim meanwhile told The Star that the experience had left him immobilised.
“I had high blood pressure, but I was able bodied. Now I can’t walk,” he was reported as saying.
Tayudin and Rahim were rescued by Filipino soldiers on March 23. They were among five tugboat crew members seized by militants last July off the coast of Sabah.
The Filipino military said the Serudong Tiga crew were in a “sickly state” when rescued.
Tayudin told The Star that the kidnapped crew members were always being moved from one place to another, and that they did not even know that they were being saved.
“We always were moved at night so we didn’t know where we were going or what was happening. So we didn’t even realise that we were separated from the other three and that we were being rescued by the army,” he was quoted as saying.
The other three crew members – Fandy Bakran, 27, Mohd Jumadil Rahim, 24, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 33 – were reportedly rescued in an operation in waters off Sulu last night.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander DCP Wan Abd Bari Wan Abd Khalid confirmed the successful operation earlier today, telling news agency Bernama that no further details were currently available.
Tayudin and Rahim were reunited with their families at Prime Minister Najib Razak’s residence this morning.
Najib expressed gratitude over their safe return and thanked those involved in the rescue efforts.
“We are grateful because two Malaysian nationals who were kidnapped for eight months are now back in the country and have been reunited with their family members today. Thank you to all those involved in the rescue efforts,” the PM told Bernama.