Three ExxonMobil oilworkers who were abducted on their way home from work Thursday in the Aceh province have been freed, police said on Sunday. The police made a statement Sunday afternoon that they had received credible information that the hostages had been released unharmed. Police were still investigating the details of their release and whether any ransom had been paid. It is believed that the kidnapping was carried out by separatist rebels belonging to the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).
GAM is seeking independence, Jakarta has ruled that out, saying the best it could offer was an autonomy package proposed last year which gives the province more say over its affairs. Next month, the two sides are scheduled to sign a peace deal in Switzerland that international mediators hope will stop the bloodshed.