Vietnamese hostages found beheaded in Philippines

Elias Hubbard
July 5, 2017

Basilan and other islands stretching between the main Philippine islands and Borneo are a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf, formed in 1991.

The two Vietnamese were kidnapped last November along with four other Vietnamese crew members of a vessel which was boarded by the militants off the southern region of Mindanao, the military said.

The victims had their hands tied behind their backs and their severed heads placed beside them, officials said.

One of the six crewmen was rescued last month and three remain in captivity, Petinglay said.

"The cadavers will be made to undergo forensic exams as coordination with the Vietnamese embassy is also simultaneously done", he added.

"In my estimate, the clearing operations will take at least a week", he said yesterday, adding that the enemy's resistance was waning as troops gain control of more strategic positions.

Uy said they were still trying to ascertain why the Abu Sayyaf executed the captives without issuing any ultimatum for ransom.

However, although the sailors were believed abducted by the Abu Sayyaf - the military, in fact, said Hoang Vo had escaped from the Abu Sayyaf - the Westmincom statement on the discovery of the two sailors' bodies referred only to "unknown perpetrators".

Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr., the military's regional commander, condemned the "barbaric" beheading.

Recently, Abu Sayyaf has been involved in fighting alongside the Maute group against government forces in Marawi City on Mindanao.

Islamist militants have beheaded two Vietnamese sailors held hostage for eight months in the southern Philippines, the military said today.

President Duterte and his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts have struggled to deal with a wave of attacks by the Abu Sayyaf and allied gunmen who target tugboats and cargo ships along their busy sea borders.

The Abu Sayyaf are holding a total of 22 hostages, including 16 foreigners, according to Petinglay.

German national Jurgen Kantner, 70, was beheaded in February after the kidnappers' demand for 30 million pesos (USD 600,000) was not met.

The two victims were part of six Vietnamese sailors kidnapped by the militants past year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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