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Former hostage calls for final release

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 23 (UPI) -- An International Committee of the Red Cross worker and former hostage in the Philippines called on his captors to release their remaining hostage.

Andreas Notter, an ICRC employee held for 93 days by a rebel group in the Philippines, called on his former captors Wednesday to release Eugenio Vagni, the remaining ICRC worker still being held, the committee reported.

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Notter, who was captured with Vagni and Mary Jean Lacaba on Jan. 15, said he was happy that his ordeal was over. With the April 18 release of Notter and the April 2 release of Lacaba, Vagni is the only remaining ICRC employee being held captive by the al-Qaida-linked extremist group Abu Sayyaf.

During a tense several days before the release of Lacaba, Abu Sayyaf had threatened to kill the ICRC hostages if the Philippines police didn't withdraw from villages on the island of Jolo.

Notter is calling on the rebel group to release Vagni to end the ongoing situation and because Vagni is in need of medical attention.

"I am very concerned about my colleague, Eugenio Vagni, particularly because of his health," Notter said at a news conference, according to the ICRC.

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"He has a hernia, which is making it difficult for him to walk."

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