British couple in dramatic SAS rescue after being kidnapped by ISISNovember 25, 2019
The SAS and intelligence officers played a key role in the dramatic rescue of a British couple held hostage by Islamic State loyalists.
Allan and Wilma Hyrons were freed this morning by the Philippine Army after being kidnapped on October 4.
British special forces helped to plan the rescue mission.
Allan, 70, and Wilma, 59, were saved after a 20-minute shoot-out on the island of Sulu, 400 miles from where they were snatched.
They were left behind as their abductors from the Abu Sayyaf group fled.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said: “There was a running gun battle.”
He added the hostages were abandoned by the gunmen “because they could not drag them any more”.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab praised the “tremendous efforts” of the authorities in the Philippines.
He said: “We worked closely with the government of the Philippines on Allan and Wilma’s case over the last two months.
“We are in particular grateful to their armed forces for their courage. Foreign Office officials have been in contact with their family throughout this ordeal.”
But a security source added: “Special forces will have had a significant input on the rescue, offering technical advice and help in planning the actual military operation.
"And our intelligence officers will have provided information on the ramifications of the rescue, who the abductors are and how much support they have.”
The couple were abducted from a resort in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Witnesses reported seeing them being taken from a hut and dragged to a motorboat.
British Ambassador Daniel Pruce tweeted after the rescue: “Fantastic news!”
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