Shanghai kidnapee returns home from Malaysia

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A Shanghai woman who was freed last Friday - two months after she was abducted from a Malaysian diving resort - returned to Shanghai yesterday.

Gao Huayun, 29, took a China Eastern Airlines flight yesterday morning, accompanied by workers from the China Embassy in Malaysia. She has reunited with her family and was reported staying in a hotel room with her parents, according to

On April 2, Gao was kidnapped from the Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna by seven gunmen believed linked to the Abu Sayyaf militant group. They also seized Filipina resort worker Marcy Darawan, 40.

The kidnappers took the two women to an island township in the Philippines' southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi. They previously demanded more than US$11 million for Gao's return.

The circumstances under which the two hostages were freed remained unclear today. Malaysian police and their Philippine counterparts retrieved the hostages separately last Friday. Philippine police said the two women were freed after negotiations, and no ransom had been paid.

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