ZAMBOANGA CITY – A Dutch hostage of the Abu Sayyaf, who was reported to have joined the pro-ISIS group after developing Stockholm syndrome after 7 years in captivity, was killed during a firefight Friday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.
The fighting between militants and army soldiers erupted in Pansul village in Patikul town that also killed one of the wives of Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron. Eight other soldiers were also wounded in the battle, according to the military’s Western Mindanao Command.
It said Horn was reportedly shot by one of his captors while attempting to escape during the fighting. His body was recovered along with Mingayan Sahiron, who was slain in the clash that lasted over an hour.
“Horn was shot by one of his guards when he tried to escape from the Abu Sayyaf during this morning’s gunfight. After an hour and thirty minutes of gun battle, troops recovered the remains of Horn and that of Mingayan Sahiron, the second wife of the Abu Sayyaf top leader,” said Major Gen. Divino Pabayo, commander of an anti-terror task force in Sulu.
The military did not say if soldiers witnessed the killing of Horn or not.
Pabayo, who described the fighting as ferocious, said six militants were allegedly killed and a dozen more injured, but it was unclear whether the casualties suffered by the Abu Sayyaf were based on intelligence reports as troops only recovered the bodies of Horn and Sahiron’s wife.
Horn, according to Sulu police commander Pablo Labra, had developed Stockholm syndrome, a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.
“We received information that he developed Stockholm syndrome and spotted carrying a weapon,” Labra told The Zamboanga Post on an interview just this month.
It was not immediately known whether Horn had fought security forces side by side with the Abu Sayyaf. “We really don’t know if he had fought troops, but if he engages security forces and the lives of our troops are put in grave danger then we have no other recourse but to fight back,” Labra said.
Horn and Swiss wildlife photographer Lorenzo Vinciguerra were both captured by Abu Sayyaf militants under Hajan Sawadjaan and suspected Moro National Liberation Front members in the coastal village of Parangan in Tawi-Tawi’s Panglima Sugala town in February 2012.
Vinciguerra managed to escape from his guards and recovered by soldiers in December 2014 after he allegedly killed one of his guards – Juhurim Hussien – with a bolo. (The Zamboanga Post. With additional report from Rhoderick Beñez.)
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