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German hostages freed by Islamic extremists in Philippines arrive at Manilla embassy

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German hostages freed by Islamic extremists in Philippines arrive at Manilla embassy

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Two German hostages held by Islamic extremists in the Philippines arrived safely at the German embassy in Manilla on Saturday after being released.

Stefan Okonek and Henrike Dielen were abducted last April while sailing between the Philippines and Malaysia, and held on the remote island of Jolo.

The rebels had demanded more than 4 million euros in ransom and that Germany stop supporting US-led air strikes in Syria. They had threatened to behead Okonek on Friday afternoon.

Their captors from the Abu Sayyaf group have claimed that a ransom was paid but German and Filipino authorities refused to confirm that. Germany would say only that a crisis negotiator had been sent to the Philippines.