KOTA KINABALU: A Malaysian kidnap victim who escaped from Abu Sayyaf kidnappers in a volley of gunfire five days ago has died at a private hospital in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.
Doctors removed life support from Jari Abdullah, 34, at 1.30pm yesterday with the consent of his mother Zuana Laudioto, who arrived there at his bedside late on Monday.
Sources in the Philippines said his mother had requested that no post-mortem be done as he had “suffered enough”.
His mother had also requested Malaysian officials’ help to send Jari’s body back to Sandakan for burial.
His mother and younger brother Arianto Mohd Sufri were flown to Zamboanga City by Wisma Putra after consultation with the Sabah government.
Initially, Jari’s wife Nadin Junianti Najiri and mother were supposed to fly in together.
However, it could not be ascertained why his wife, a mother of two, did not follow.
Jari suffered gunshot wounds to his head, chest and groin while escaping from his kidnappers during a gunfight between his kidnappers and Philippine marines on Simusa Island in Sulu last Thursday.
Philippine troops pursuing the gunmen managed to rescue him and took him to a hospital in Jolo before he was airlifted to Zamboanga City, where he remained critical and never regained consciousness.
Jari and two Indonesians were abducted from their Sandakan-based fishing trawler on Dec 5 while fishing in the Pegasus Reef area in Kinabatangan waters, close to the Tawi Tawi island chain in southern Philippines.
On Friday, a day after Jari’s escape, another 45-year-old kidnap victim – Indonesian Heri Ardiansyah – was rescued from the sea near Simusa Island, but the third hostage, Hariadin, 19, drowned. His body was recovered by the Philippine marines.
The Indonesian duo had tried to swim away from Simusa Island but Hariadin could not make it despite an all-out military assault on the militants.
The military had been carrying out a multipronged attack on the militants, including on their stronghold of Patikul in Jolo island, over the last three days.
Jari is the third Malaysian hostage held in Jolo to die.
Tung Wee Wei from Negri Sembilan died of sickness in 2013, and the Abu Sayyaf beheaded Bernard Then from Sarawak in 2015.