U.S. Sailor Turns Up Safe in Philippines

From Associated Press

A missing U.S. Navy lieutenant who hid on the slopes of a volcano during an attack by suspected Communist guerrillas turned up late Wednesday at an air base, hungry but uninjured.

Lt. Scott Alan Washburn spent Tuesday night on Mt. Pinatubo after his group encountered the guerrillas, said Maj. Allan Ballesteros of the Philippine air force.

Washburn was among five American servicemen descending the volcano with four armed Philippine military escorts and two tour guides Tuesday when at least 30 suspected New People's Army guerrillas fired near them. No one was injured.

Washburn, who was washing his shoes in a creek when the attack began, walked for about three hours Wednesday to reach Clark Air Base, Ballesteros said.

The 33-year-old Washburn, who is from Celina, Ohio, tried to flag down a helicopter that was searching for him, but he was not spotted and decided to hike back when night fell for the second time. He arrived at the base just after 11 p.m., Ballesteros said.

Commissioned as an officer in 1998, Washburn has been in the Philippines five times. His father, Donald Washburn of St. Marys, Ohio, said earlier Wednesday that his son is an avid outdoorsman who would have little difficulty surviving under harsh circumstances.

Meanwhile, in the jungles of Basilan island, Muslim rebels continued to hold an estimated 20 people, including three Americans.

Abu Sabaya, a commander with the Abu Sayyaf rebel group, said that one American had been wounded by gunfire and that three captured soldiers had been beheaded, but he said the other hostages were safe and unhurt.

FBI hostage specialists arrived Wednesday to advise the Philippine government on negotiations, National Police Chief Leandro Mendoza said.

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