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Kidnap victim 'holds no hope at all for being released'

CONFIRMATION a former Australian soldier kidnapped by militants in the Philippines is still alive has been met with a cautious response from government officials.

Warren Richard Rodwell was taken hostage by six gunmen with links to Al-Qaeda in southern Zamboanga Sibugay province on December 5 last year.

Video footage of Mr Rodwell holding a newspaper dated December 15, 2012, was uploaded to YouTube this week as proof he was still alive.

In the video Mr Rodwell said he did not trust his captors or the Australian Government and held "no hope at all for being released".

The ransom being demanded from Mr Rodwell's family is $US23,000.

Mr Rodwell pleaded with his family to do everything they could to come up with the money.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed the news Mr Rodwell was still alive but told reporters on Thursday the fact that he had not been released after more than 12 months was a "major concern".

He said the government was in regular contact with Mr Rodwell's family but would not comment further as "it would not be helpful".

Topics:  hostage, philippines


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