Manila (AFP) - Two Filipina documentary film-makers, kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked Muslim extremists in the strife-torn southern Philippines, were recovered by authorities on Thursday after eight months in captivity, a military statement said.
Nadjoua Bansil and her younger sister Linda were recovered on the island of Jolo as the military and local officials were conducting a search for them, the statement from the Jolo marine brigade said.
"The safe recovery was made possible through the intensified conduct of law enforcement operation(s)," the statement said. It made no mention of any arrests.
It was not immediately clear if the two had been freed by their abductors or if they escaped.
Nadjoua, then aged 39 and her sister, then aged 36, were seized by members of the Abu Sayyaf group on June 22 while working on a film about the impoverished residents of the heavily-forested island of Jolo.
Relatives had appealed for their release saying they were daughters of a deceased sharia court judge.
The Abu Sayyaf group was founded with seed money from Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. The US government has officially designated it a terrorist organisation.
Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history as well as many kidnappings of foreigners and Filipinos, often demanding hefty ransoms.
Other Abu Sayyaf factions are believed to be holding other hostages, including two European bird watchers.