Abu Sayyaf group beheads Canadian citizen held hostage in the Philippines
Apr 26, 2016 04:41 AM EDT
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Monday that the decapitated head found in the southern Philippines belonged to a Canadian taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants in September.
As reported by USA Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was outraged by the news that a Canadian citizen John Ridsdel, who was held hostage in the Philippines since September 21, 2015, has been killed by his abductors.
He added that Canada condemns, without reservation, the brutality of the hostage takers and the unnecessary death of a Canadian. Trudeau said that this was an act of cold-blooded murder and the responsibility lies exclusively with his abductors. Trudeau, however, committed that Canada will closely work with the Philippine government to pursue the entities responsible for the gruesome act.
According to the National Post, reports said that the office of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III affirmed that maximum efforts are being exerted by the joint forces of the police and military in order to rescue the four hostages. The authorities have already intensified their operations against 400 Abu Sayyaf members and supporters in the island of Basilan and Jolo.
The Abu Sayyaf group, that is closely linked to the international terrorist group al-Qaeda, has held four hostages including Ridsdel who is a former mining executive. The group asked for a 300 million peso ransom for each hostage to avoid beheading, but the Philippine government didn't give in to the demand until the last day of the deadline as per Sky News.
Ridsdel's group includes another Canadian, Robert Hall, as well as a Norweigan and his Filipina girlfriend. The group was abducted in a high-end resort on southern Samal Island.
The small brutal group of the Abu Sayyaf has already held a number of foreign hostages and is known for its campaign of beheading, kidnapping, bombing and extortion activities in the country.