Indonesian soldiers (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian armed forces have decided to set up a special squad to assist the release of local hostages being held by Abu Sayyaf rebel group in the Philippines.

The special squad comprises soldiers from the army, the navy and the air force, military spokesman Tatang Sulaiman said on August 12, adding that the squad is ready to take action whenever it is needed.

The deployment will be done once there is coordination and an agreement between the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines, he said.

The Indonesian military was allowed to enter the Philippines’ territory for the hostage release, Indonesian Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu said after his talks with the Philippines’ counterpart Voltaire Gazmin in Manila in June 2016.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla on August 12 stressed that the government is taking all necessary measures to release the 11 Indonesian crew members being abducted in the Philippines.

Indonesia’s Security Minister Menkopolhukam Wiranto said that the government will not comply with the rebel group’s ransom demand.

Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia reached a deal on a joint patrol in the border of their nations to prevent ship attacks and kidnapping in 2016.

Since the beginning of this year, a total of 25 Indonesians have been abducted by Abu Sayyaf group and 14 of them were released.-VNA