IBTimes UK

A second Indonesian tugboat crewman escaped from the Abu Sayyaf militant captors in the Philippines, said Indonesian armed forces chief Gatot Nurmantyo on Friday. An Indonesian news agency quoted the chief saying that claims of a hostage, identified as Ismail, escaping the militants had been checked and the reports are true.

Ismail is currently undergoing medical check-ups in Zamboanga, he added.

Members of Abu Sayyaf group which is linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured Ismail on June 23 along with six other Indonesian seamen when their boat was passing through waters off southern Philippine islands.

Indonesia Chief Security Minister Wiranto said that the Filipino government is applying a lot of Psychological as well as military pressure on the kidnappers and is hoping to hear positive news soon.

Before Ismail, another crewman of the tugboat called Mohammad Safyan escaped the militants on August 17 by swimming out to sea.

Major Filemon Tan, an army spokesperson, said that the 28-year-old Safyan was spotted by residents of Jolo island as he was floating off the shore. Safyan managed to escape from his captors after the militants threatened to cut his head off.

"We were told he managed to escape by running and swimming to the sea," Tan told Reuters.

Abu Sayyaf extremists have developed a reputation as ruthless kidnappers after a series of abductions in recent times.

The rise of hijacking incidents at sea has prompted Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia governments to try to coordinate maritime patrols in order to control such incidents. In a trilateral maritime security meeting in Bali, the countries agreed to let each other enter one another's waters in times of emergency.

Recently, the group beheaded two Canadians whom they had kidnapped from a beach resort after a ransom deadline passed.